Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Health Canada authorizes psychedelic drugs for therapies (gazette.gc.ca)
200 points by mgbmtl 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 36 comments

Good, I’m supportive.

Even if you think psychs are not positive or moral, it’s pure bad faith to use that as a reason to exclude them from research.

It’s mind boggling that amphetamines, benzos, etc have been common in clinical settings for years, but not organic compounds derived from various fungal species (psilocybe and ergot) both of which have lived alongside us (or vice versa) for centuries if not millennia.

Good, yes. But something being "organic" / "natural" is just a generic content-free talking point to use whenever it fits your agenda. Like you wouldn't be supporting this if these compounds were useful but -gasp- synthetic.

They are cheap to produce. A couple of grad students working hard for 2 weeks could create enough acid to keep the entire US trippy for a year, assuming they had the blessings of the lab owner and free access to inputs.

Can’t charge exorbitant fees for something trivial to produce.

I’d probably respond to your tone and assumptions with a string of vulgar invective containing ‘cope’, ‘nerd’, ‘sneed’ etc but I now realize this forum is not the place.

> Can’t charge exorbitant fees for something trivial to produce.

Read up on escitalopram and esketamine. Both are racemic separations of the original compound (with anti-depressive properties). Biochemically/medically they're basically identical to the original citalopram and ketamine. Same effect, same side effect. They're literally just the active half of the original compound. But legally a racemic separation which is medically equivalent is still juuuust different enough chemically you can patent it.

It seems highly likely to me that a pharma company is going to design and patent a psilocin prodrug with nearly identical effects to mushrooms, that's patentable, and they'll charge tidily for it. (Psilocybin itself in mushrooms is just a prodrug for psilocin.) I suspect if that happens psilocin or psilocybin will never be approved for routine use.

If by my "assumptions" you meant that you personally are the kind of person whom I would expect to lean on "natural" / "organic" talking point to push your agenda, as opposed to using that trope unknowingly (which seemed like a distinct possibility at the time), then your reaction tells me that would be the right assumption. Although I couldn't care less how much some random anon fits my assumptions, even if I had any.

Also by organic I meant the definition from chemistry, not the yuppie bullshit definition.

But amphetamines and benzos are organic... So that definition literally is incorrect the way you use it in your top comment

Don't care, it's the same bullshit as yuppies, antivaxxers, druggies, and everyone else using those empty words for their agendas.

Heroin, fentanyl, opiates, amphetamines, benzos, are all chemically organic, that doesn't mean shit for how they should or shouldn't be used, neither in research nor medically nor recreationally.

> organic compounds derived from various fungal species (psilocybe and ergot) both of which have lived alongside us (or vice versa) for centuries if not millennia.

Why do you think that is relevant?

There is a long history of human consumption of some substances that far surpasses that of modern pharmaceuticals.

Like lead for instance?

good example. due to insufficient knowledge about its effects (no theory regarding matter and its interactions) humans had to go by trial-and-error. which led to bad outcomes like consuming lead, mercury and countless others agains ailments/diseases. so, one could see it as a very long-running clinical phase II(?) trial. so thank you science for not judging morally but giving us explanations and real evidence so we can decide if and for whom it may be appropriate.

I believe what is meant here is that there is long term use of such substances so we can be sure if it's safety

For example there are studies of very long term Ayahuasca use in certain south American tribes . Blood tests were taken and studied to see it's effects on them.

Another one is use of iboga in other tribes in Ghana

They are cheap to produce. A couple of grad students working hard for 2 weeks could create enough acid to keep the entire US trippy for a year.

Can’t charge exorbitant fees for something trivial to produce.


> have lived alongside us (or vice versa) for centuries if not millennia

Without addressing the overall point, I don't understand this sort of argument for drug legalization, which I hear occasionally. Almost everything on earth has lived alongside us for 200,000 years, but does that affect safety and efficacy? Should we treat people with polonium? Bleed them with leaches? Burn them with fire to get out the bad parts? Eye of newt and toe of frog? I'm not comparing the OP's treatments to those things, I'm saying that being 'natural' isn't correlated with efficacy or safety.

Someone said to me recently that there was no point to vaccinations and masks because 'you can't stop nature'. I stop nature pretty well: I stop 'natural' thermodynamics with my insulated clothes and home, I stop entropy by eating, I stop gravity with a parachute and e. coli with a clean food supply. Sure, eventually I'll die, but not today.

The objective of the regulatory amendments is to restore the possibility for practitioners to request access to restricted drugs through the Special Access Program. In practice, this means that practitioners will, on behalf of patients with serious or life-threatening conditions, be able to request restricted drugs through the Special Access Program in instances where other therapies have failed, are unsuitable, or are not available in Canada.

These amendments would also remove cocaine from the definition of “restricted drug,” so that all cocaine products are regulated as narcotics under the Narcotic Control Regulations. Regulating all cocaine products under the Narcotic Control Regulations will remove complexity for stakeholders applying to conduct or conducting activities with cocaine.

Magic mushrooms are now entering in the "gray zone" of legality in Canada. They are illegal, but there are online mushroom dispensaries in Canada that are blatantly selling them online as law enforcement is turning a blind eye to it.

A few weeks ago I ordered an ounce of shrooms online using a crypto-currency that has a smiling Japanese dog for a mascot. A week later it arrived in my mailbox without any issues. What a time to be alive.

I can anecdotally confirm; shrooms today feel about as legal as weed did ~10 years ago - nobody really cared unless you were a blatant dick about, and/or dealing it.

To go the extra mile with your example, there are several (grey market) "local delivery" cannabis dispensaries around me that will deliver in two hours or less. I've been seeing more and more of these services selling shrooms of all variety; chocolates, capsules, gummies, fresh, dried, you name it. If I were to order from the right place, I could have an ounce of weed and a quarter of shrooms at my doorstep in under 45 minutes. What a time to be alive indeed!

There are a bunch of brick-and-mortar stores downtown Vancouver that plainly advertise that they are selling magic mushrooms. You can see the product through the window, there are big signs, the business names are super obvious, and they're in regular, well-frequented, non-sketchy neighbourhoods.

Yep, there was one near my apartment in Yaletown (Vancouver). I did quite the double take when I first noticed.

I'm pleased to see that we're starting to study these substances. It seems absurd that we wouldn't have - after all, they're a part of our common heritage. Hopefully this leads to new insights.

I could only find a news article in French: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1854450/sante-canada-au...

It's strange, I thought they had to provide both in French and English? Nevertheless I found this: https://globalnews.ca/video/8497644/psychedelics-approved-fo... but it's not quite the same, heh.

Just used Google to translate it (had to right click, and go to Translate)

Bilingualism in Canada is not about providing both languages automatically in all contexts. Radio-Canada and the CBC are two distinct public broadcasters under a shared corporate structure.

So they have two websites, two networks of stations (TV and radio), and they share buildings where it makes sense, but a news article in French Radio-Canada will not mean the English CBC will even be interested to publish anything on the subject.

C'est deux solitudes.

> but a news article in French Radio-Canada will not mean the English CBC will even be interested to publish anything on the subject.

Or that they wouldn't give it a different spin (remember, monolinguals can't fact check easily...)

You'd love federal elections in Canada, it's a pet peeve of mine to listen to both speeches of a candidate and note the differences. Trudeau did a lot of that in the last campaign where he wanted to appease both Quebec and the ROC so he added some qualifiers to his sentences in either language to create or remove ambiguity on some promises he was making.

And the latest Governor General now speaks in three different languages!

Although she says the same thing in all 3 languages, unlike most politicians.

There's a difference between a public broadcaster and say, tax documents when it comes to how bilingualism is applied.

It will help Canadians not to feel hunger pains, once the food trucks are turned back.

Canada is a net exporter of food and agriculture commodities.


Yep, Canada will be fine as long as we don't want fresh vegetables in winter and can increase the capacity of our abattoirs.

I think I could live off rolled oats and beet sugar for quite a long time in any case!

I find this comment quite interesting as it seems that the majority of Canadians are unaware of the upcoming restrictions regarding this subject.

It almost seems that there are many more Americans upset with this than Canadians, maybe this has to do with the fact many more Canadians have rolled up their sleeves IDK.

I think the simple answer other than striking down the law would be to have the brokerage agents that are already located in northern US border towns to contract short haul cross border drivers that have been jabbed.

There is a large body of research around the effectiveness of psilocybin for depression.



What do you mean? Ivermectin is perfectly legal for medical uses. It's a miracle drug for curing parasitic worms.

Edit; yes, it was fairly obvious that you were simply trying to stir up a divisive political squabble in a completely unrelated story.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact