Authored by Amy Pomeroy, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst
Traditional mental illness medications are not effective for many people, carry the risk of serious side effects, and, at best, only address symptoms. However, a renaissance of psychotherapeutic research demonstrates that psychotherapeutic substances like psilocybin and MDMA may actually modify the course of illnesses and offer long-term or permanent relief.
Currently, psychotherapeutics are classified as Schedule I substances under federal and Utah law, making it illegal for people to access them, even under medical supervision. Utahns using them risk criminal punishment and also their health as the purity and potency of psychotherapeutics purchased on the black market is difficult to determine.
Utah should strongly consider establishing a legal framework for practitioners to administer psychotherapeutics to patients in a safe, supervised setting. Their use will give patients greater freedom to find options that work.