Psychedelic Access Pathways


The Public Deserves Clear Information About Psychedelics.

Download the full brief here. 

Headlines about psychedelics are seemingly everywhere, but it can be difficult for the public to understand the differences between clinical trials, retreats, religious ceremonies, and other contexts where psychedelics are used. The media—and often, psychedelics advocates—tend to view all uses of psychedelics through the lens of mental health, but there is much more to the story.

In Psychedelic Access Pathways, BrainFutures describes three psychedelic access pathways that are legal or semi-legal in the United States: medical, wellness, and religious access.

BrainFutures aims to foster constructive dialogue by laying out definitions for each access pathway and pointing out key differences between them. We believe that consistently using clear definitions for each psychedelic access pathway will reduce confusion, enhance safety, reduce legal risks, and ultimately support the development of a thriving psychedelic ecosystem.

Our Recommendations

1. Psychedelic practitioners and advocates should inform participants about the purpose, risks, and legal limits of the access pathway they operate within using easy-to-understand language.
2. Discussions about psychedelic use should avoid broadly generalizing across pathways or conflating one pathway with another.
3. Practitioners and advocates in any access pathway should avoid making unvalidated claims about health benefits.
4. Psychedelic practitioners should take care to avoid the unlicensed practice of medicine or psychotherapy.

Learn more about the psychedelic access pathways and why the distinctions between them matter by downloading our issue brief here.

Further Reading

Read our comments to the Oregon Health Authority here.

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