The Trip Report by Beckley Waves
The Trip Report
#11: Matt Zorn - In the Weeds of Psychedelic Law and Policy

#11: Matt Zorn - In the Weeds of Psychedelic Law and Policy

Welcome back to The Trip Report Podcast, a production of Beckley Waves, a Psychedelic Venture Studio.

Today, we’re speaking with Matt Zorn.

Matt is a partner at the law firm Yetter Coleman. His law practice is uniquely focused on regulatory law, and importantly for this conversation, he has been working on several psychedelic-related cases.

I should warn you we get into the weeds straight out of the gates on this one as I ask Matt about his experience deposing the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)—and what that actually means.

This is probably the most technical conversation we’ve had on the podcast, and so you’ll hear me ask Matt to clarify or explain things several times.

I would ask listeners to keep in mind while listening to this that the matter of illegality of psychedelics and the punishment mandated by the law was not established through science, public health, or respect for individual liberties– but rather, this state of affairs was established to consolidate political power.

The Controlled Substances Act, established in 1970—more than 50 years ago—created the DEA and established formidable barriers to revising the government’s position on psychedelics and other scheduled substances.

Matt, along with a handful of other attorneys working in the field, are holding the DEA’s feet to the flame, so to speak, and forcing the agency to clarify its position on several fronts and through this process—and this is my personal opinion— exposing that the emperor, in fact, is wearing no clothes.

We discuss one specific area in which Matt and his colleagues are pushing the DEA for clarity; this is a trial AIMS vs the DEA where defendants are seeking clarity on the matter of whether psilocybin is eligible for terminally ill patients through The Right to Try Act.

We also dive into:

  • Cannabis rescheduling

  • The Freedom of Information Act

  • How the FDA came to be the other federal agency involved in the drug classification schema and the concept of “Medically Accepted Use”

  • The legal concept of the Chevron Deference and

  • The differences between state-level legalization and decriminalization 

And, without further ado, I bring you my conversation with Matt Zorn.

Listen to the episode on Substack, Spotify, Google or Apple.


The Trip Report by Beckley Waves
The Trip Report
The Trip Report is a podcast and newsletter about the business, science, and policy developments of the evolving psychedelic field. While the main organizing theme is psychedelics, it is really about the many different domains that are converging to bring about this field and the assembly of what many believe to be a “New Paradigm” in science, medicine, and our understanding of the human experience. Our goal is to foster an educated and informed psychedelic ecosystem, and to do that, we will feature in-depth conversations with scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders at the forefront of the psychedelic renaissance.