Bipartisan Congressional support for allowing terminal patients to seek relief from anxiety and depression in alignment with ongoing international research on the effectiveness of psilocybin in mental health care
The Ninth Circuit’s opinion today, January 31, 2022, finding that the agency action in this matter was not final – “the DEA’s response letter was not a final decision…and therefore the panel lacked jurisdiction to review it.” – did not reach the merits. Rather, the court held that it did not have jurisdiction, on this record, to consider the merits of whether DEA must accommodate duly enacted Right to Try laws.
In view of the opinion, Petitioners will promptly file both a Request for Waiver and a Petition for Rescheduling. The waiver request will require the DEA to issue a decision that will constitute ‘final agency action,’ so that the merits can be reached in judicial review if necessary. Those merits arguments are strong: DEA must accommodate duly enacted state and federal Right-to-Try laws, as mandated by the Controlled Substances Act. The Petition for Rescheduling offers DEA an alternative and equally compelling way to create a pathway so that terminally ill patients can access to psilocybin. Time is of the essence.
In a letter to the DEA sent on January 18, 2022, bipartisan Congressional members expressed concern that DEA ought and must respect duly enacted state and federal Right to Try laws and use its power to create a pathway to access the investigational drug psilocybin. Given that the interests of terminally ill patients are at stake, where the advance of illness makes time short, there is an urgency for DEA’s action on both the petition and waiver request be prompt. We hope congressional interest in this matter will continue, and possibly include Congressional Oversight Hearings.