Psychedelic Medicine


Ketamine History and Legality with Dr. Lynn Marie Morski and a BONUS Patient Experience


Today’s episode discusses the history and legality of ketamine. Being so widely available and legal in many places, including the United States, ketamine’s story is different from many other medicines discussed in this show. With that being the case, we’ll also hear the experience of one more patient who has made use of ketamine therapy.

When many people hear of ketamine they think of a horse tranquilizer, party-drug, or battlefield medicine. This diversity of uses reflects the varied history of this drug. Ketamine was patented for human and animal use in 1966 and approved by the FDA in 1970. It soon after found widespread use as a field anesthetic in Vietnam. It wasn’t long before the medical and non-medical uses of ketamine expanded worldwide. In the 1990s, researches found that ketamine has many effects in the treatment of depression and chronic pain.

In the United States, ketamine is a Schedule 3 drug, meaning that it is widely available as long as a patient has a prescription from their physician. However, in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, ketamine remains illegal. Many other countries restrict the drug to veterinary use only.

The second part of this episode is a discussion with Jennifer about how she approached her physician about using ketamine and her journey with this medicine. While searching for relief from her chronic depression and anxiety, Jennifer came across ketamine treatments. While she initially faced pushback from her psychologist, Jennifer went ahead with her treatment. She discusses how ketamine was able to treat her depression as well as migraines in a way that the other drugs she had taken had not.

In This Episode

• A brief history of the legality of ketamine in the United States
• What early studies into the various medical uses of ketamine uncovered
• Where ketamine is legal and in what forms
• The challenge of finding a doctor who agrees with a patient’s interest in alternative therapies
• The small but meaningful changes that one patient felt after starting ketamine therapy


“The fact that there are so many different ways that people have heard of ketamine is a testament to how many things it can do.” [5:11]

“If you are considering ketamine, it is a matter of finding a physician or a center that offers it intravenously or intramuscularly. Or work with a psychologist or physcotherapist who offers it, often in the lozenge or nasal form.” [7:56]

“So many little things. It felt like I could take deep breaths. I wasn’t always on edge with stress and anger and being defeated. When that little bit starts to lift — that’s a lot!” – Jennifer [14:20]


* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.