Psilocybin, Psychedelics, and the Law

Psilocybin and most psychedelics are listed as Schedule I substances under federal law and in many states.  Although current research has identified some psychedelics as promising and potentially revolutionary therapeutic tools, health care professionals need to be aware of the laws regarding such substances and understand the risks and potential legal parameters around working with patients who incorporate psychedelics into their healing and spiritual growth.  This presentation will provide an overview of: 1) drug classification, scheduling, federal and state laws; 2) how criminal offenses involving psilocybin and other psychedelics may be defined or understood; 3) if it’s not legal, is it defensible – the ethics and legal quagmire around defensible illegal acts; 4) medical practitioner licensing and ethical requirements; 5) legislation, rules and application of laws by courts and administrative authorities; and 6) emerging defenses, trends and how the protections afforded by freedom of speech and freedom of religion clauses in federal and state constitutions might apply to patients and practitioners.

Nicole Dalton, JD

Nicole Dalton graduated, cum laude, from Lewis and Clark School of Law in 2006.  While attending college, before law school, she was a legal assistant to a public defender and developed a somewhat irrational passion for criminal defense work.  Since starting out as an associate with a small firm, she has spent most of her career handling almost exclusively criminal defense matters. In private practice, Nicole has extensive trial and litigation experience, from Class A felonies to misdemeanors, occasionally handles post-conviction matters, and regularly handles low bono matters involving important individual freedoms and progressive political activism.  Nicole is an active member of several professional organizations and has presented continuing education topics and written articles for professional organizations including the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Defender Association, the Washington State Association for Justice, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Clark County and the Clark County Bar Association.