Is psychedelic research legal?

Yes. Under the Controlled Substances Act, scientists may conduct research on Schedule I substances (the class of drugs under which psychedelics fall), provided they register with and gain approval from the US Drug Enforcement Administration.1 To register, researchers must identify the institution where the research will take place and provide information pertaining to their qualifications and research protocols.2 Additionally, the US Food and Drug Administration requires the sponsor or principal investigator of a clinical trial to register it with and submit summary results.3


1. Callahan, J. (2020, December 15). Legal Status of Psychedelic Drugs and Research Involving Possible Medical Uses. Office of Legislative Research.

2. US Drug Enforcement Administration (2018, January 18). DEA Speeds Up Application Process for Research on Schedule I drugs.

3. US National Library of Medicine (2021 May). Why Should I Register and Submit Results?