A group of psychedelic activists formed a political action committee aimed at lobbying Congress to support research into the therapeutic uses of compounds such as psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine. also plans to lobby lawmakers to loosen restrictions on potent drugs. These drugs show promise as potential treatments for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and addiction.
“As evidence of the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs grows, Americans are taking action on their own by electing leaders who will endorse policies that expand access to these life-changing treatments. I believe it’s time to raise a said in a statement.
The Psychedelic Medicine PAC points to the adoption of measures to legalize psilocybin by voters in Oregon and Colorado as evidence that such reforms are justified at the federal level. However, the group’s leaders acknowledge that misconceptions about psychedelics have lingered and there are challenges in moving the issue forward.
“We have to convince the historically diehard audience of psychedelics that this is not the 1960s.” Ryan Rogers saidCo-Founder and Executive Director of Psychedelic Medicine PAC.
“People don’t stare into the sun to close their eyes. People don’t jump off buildings,” he added. “This is trauma healing. It’s not entertainment.”
Ongoing research shows that psilocybin may be an effective treatment for several serious mental health conditions, including PTSD, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. I am Studies published in 2020 The peer-reviewed journal JAMA Psychiatry found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was a fast-acting and effective treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder.and another study Psilocybin treatment, published in 2016, was determined to significantly and sustainably reduce depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.
Lavasani has personally experienced the benefits of psychedelics after using a promising drug to treat postpartum depression and chronic pain. She led her 2020 campaign to decriminalize parasitic plants and fungi in Washington, DC. The campaign passed with her 76% approval of voters in the district. That same year, voters in Oregon voted in favor of a ballot initiative to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the primary psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms.
New PAC leaders believe time must be spent educating members of Congress and the executive branch about the compound’s therapeutic potential before psychedelics can be legalized at the federal level. The Biden administration has announced that it is considering forming a task force to study psychedelics in anticipation of possible approval of psychedelic-assisted therapies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Research and science-driven approaches are the methods of least resistance,” says Lavasani. “It’s going to take a little more time. It’s a very slow approach and what we’re trying to do is very methodical, but how to make people feel comfortable coming to terms with this issue. is.”
The Psychedelic Medicine PAC has also sought to build relationships with politicians on both sides of the aisle, noting that cannabis policy reform activists have had some success in building consensus. Several policies promoted by many cannabis supporters, such as the equity and restorative justice clauses, have failed to win the support of many Republican lawmakers.
“We don’t want what we’re advocating to cause opposition to this issue within the parliamentary chamber,” said Ravasani. “We have seen that some of the strategies adopted by the cannabis reform movement have been really divisive and that have really slowed some of the progress. That is a real lesson learned.”
One lesson psychedelic policy reform activists have learned is not to advocate for decriminalization and legalization until lawmakers have a better understanding of the drug’s therapeutic potential.
Dustin Robinson, founder of psychedelics venture capital firm Iter Investments, said: “But if their goal is to create more policy around what’s happening in the psychedelic and therapeutic space, the federal government seems very open to that.”
In November 2022, two congressmen launched the Congressional Psychedelic Advancing Clinical Treatment (PACT) Caucus to advocate research into psychedelic drugs. Additionally, a bipartisan bill from Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey would allow psychedelics, including psilocybin, to be added to the list rather than the more restrictive Schedule I currently listed. Paving the way for reclassification as a Schedule II drug. But activists warn that legalizing psychedelics won’t happen overnight.
“We are in the hype stage right now,” said Ryan Munevar, campaign director for Decriminalize California, a group that advocates for the decriminalization and legalization of parasitic plants and fungi in the state. “All politics should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s not a system designed to run quickly.”