DEA’s potential rescheduling of marijuana a ‘historic moment’

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NEW YORK — Last week’s news that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III is an “interesting historic moment,” according to David J. Hellerstein, MD.

“This also parallels what might be happening soon with psychedelic compounds, such as psilocybin and MDMA,” Hellerstein, director of the Depression Evaluation Service and professor in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University, said in this Healio video at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting.

“There are opportunities, but also perils,” he continued, “because our patients tend to be vulnerable and may not know what they’re using and may be in dangerous situations when they’re using them. This is where our expertise as psychiatrists is called for, to really understand the risks and benefits and how to mitigate potential downsides and also how to enhance research so we can improve clinical outcomes.”

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