Psychiatric advancement continues to linger in a catatonic purgatory of sorts, with bans on psychoactive substances like marijuana, LSD, and psilocybin becoming a wrench in the wheels of science; one that continues to hinder further developments in progressive treatments for the mentally ill.

This appears to be the judgment of the psychiatric community, as a recent essay by the editors of Scientific American points toward medications being used to treat mental disorders like autism, depression and schizophrenia growing stagnant, and in some cases, no more effective than they were in the 1950s.

The authors of the article entitled “End the Ban on Psychoactive Drug Research,” say that while drugs with psychoactive properties have been chastised and deemed “dope” for those breeding an outlaw society, many of these substances have actually cast clinical shadows -- proving to have ample value inside the communal shithouse of the sick.

“Through the mid-1960s, more than 1,000 scientific publications chronicled the ways that LSD could be used as an aid to make psychotherapy more effective. Similarly, MDMA began to be used as a complement to talk therapy in the 1970s. Marijuana has logged thousands of years as a medicament for diseases and conditions ranging from malaria to rheumatism,” say the authors.

However, most of these studies are far too outdated to have any substantial influence on modern medicine. And with credible research being brought to a screeching halt by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, there has been no opportunity for science to dig deeper into the potential for these drugs.

“The resulting restrictions create a de facto ban on their use in both laboratories and clinical trials, setting up a catch-22: these drugs are banned because they have no accepted medical use, but researchers cannot explore their therapeutic potential because they are banned. Three United Nations treaties extend similar restrictions to much of the rest of the world,” say the authors.

Regardless of medical marijuana now being recommended by physicians all across America, research on this flower remains at a standstill. A recent article by David J. Nutt, pharmacologist with Imperial College London, states that until the ban is lifted on psychedelic drugs, “Only then will it be possible to judge whether LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and other highly regulated compounds -- subjected to the gauntlet of clinical testing for safety and efficacy -- can actually yield effective new treatments for devastating psychiatric illnesses.”

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.