Magic mushroom trial hits stumbling block

A clinical trial which aims to discover if magic mushrooms can treat depression may now not go ahead.

Professor David Nutt, who was awarded a £550,000 grant from the Medical Research Council to conduct the experiment, is struggling to obtain the licence needed to use the drug.

In a recent interview with, Nutt slammed the "insane" rules which could ultimately prevent him from discovering whether the Class-A drug has any medical benefits.

"We are between a rock and a hard place and that's very unfortunate because if this is an effective treatment, as it may well be for some people, then they are obviously being denied that possibility," he said. reports that Nutt wanted to prescribe a chemical found in the mushrooms, psilocybin, to a sample group of 30 depression suffers, prescribe a placebo to another group and analyse their responses. The results of such a survey could be of great interest to those in counselling careers who are often keen to learn about possible cures to mental health issues.

"We live in a world of insanity in terms of regulating drugs at present. The whole field is so bogged down by these intransigent regulations, so that even if you have a good idea, you may never get it into the clinic," Nutt conceded.