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:
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.