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Comment by gnomegnostic on Cash prizes for the best arguments against psychedelics being an EA cause area · 2019-05-11T19:41:34.231Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

If psychedelics are to actually become accepted as a legitimate treatment for any psychiatric disorders and to become widely used, the spearhead will almost certainly have to be a new compound designed and tested by a mainstream pharmaceutical company. This will solve the legality problem: the drug in question will be one that has not actually been banned because it will be different (a genuinely new compound? An enantiomer of an existing one?) than any banned substance. It will solve the skepticism problem because it will undergo rigorous clinical trials by non-ideologues. Once it's on the market, floodgates will *then* open for testing of illegal well known drugs to see if they have the same benefits. But until then, EA-sponsored research will not be widely accepted. It will look like the scientists performing the study are funded by an advocacy group interested in specifically psychedelics willing to accept any applications rather than interested in the disease to be treated and willing to accept any treatment. That isn't a look that engenders confidence in positive results. The psychiatry world would likely ignore positive results generated under that sort of condition, and few individuals would try the substance as a treatment. In contrast, if a mainstream pharmaceutical company patents the compound and sells it in a mainstream fashion, the number of people who would take the medication for the indicated purpose would be orders of magnitude higher.