Activists staged a demonstration outside of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) headquarters in Virginia on Monday, demanding that the agency allow terminally ill patients to access psilocybin therapy.
The event—which involved civil disobedience and arrests—was meant to call attention to DEA’s obstruction of Right to Try statutes at the federal and state level that patients and advocates say should facilitate legal use of psychedelics.
Patients, veterans and key advocates participated in the demonstration. One terminally ill patient, Erinn Baldeschwiler, is involved in ongoing litigation against DEA over its refusal to give her and others access to psilocybin.
At DEA headquarters, the activists set off colorful smoke bombs, plastered the building with violation notices, held a die-in outside one of the entrances, removed DEA’s flag and painted messages on windows.
After a couple hours, federal police showed up at the protest but did not immediately make any arrests. Rather, an officer spoke with activists and went inside the building to see if a DEA representative might be willing to discuss the issue with the participants.
While it seemed that officers had potentially reached a deal to allow Baldeschwiler to speak with DEA officials about the issue, she and 16 others were ultimately handcuffed and arrested.
“We’re here today to demand that the DEA open a pathway to access,” Kathryn Tucker, who is representing Baldeschwiler in the legal challenge, said at the start of the demonstration. “Not one more dying patient [should have to] endure debilitating anxiety and depression when relief could be had.”
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Kyle Jaeger on Marijuana Moment
Published: May 10, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News