During a House Ways & Means Committee meeting wherein lawmakers discussed bills concerning worker and family health support access, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) brought up the therapeutic potential of psychedelics as alternatives to traditional drugs for mental health conditions, as first reported by Marijuana Moment.
With respect to the committee discussion, the congressman said he’s “encouraged with the spirit with which we’re moving forward being able to integrate a variety of areas for reform” such as outpatient care, yet he also stated a need to “continue moving forward” in the search to alleviate mental health disorders in the population nationwide, suggesting that psychedelics should be firmly included within the healthcare improvements discussion.
This is not the first time Blumenauer speaks of the benefits of this type of therapy. Back in January 2022, he co-authored a bipartisan letter calling on the DEA to allow terminally ill patients to access psilocybin under federal Right to Try (RTT) laws, a move later on backed by a bipartisan and bicameral congressional effort reaffirming RTT’s statute of providing these patients access to Schedule I drugs including marijuana and psychedelics.
Other measures in favor of considering the psychedelics discussion include recent spending legislation and approved amendments to a defense bill calling federal agencies to further support research on the therapeutic potential of these substances.
Some of the most recent introducers of advanced psychedelics reforms are Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), as well as GOP members Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Nancy Mace (R-SC).
Despite what seems to be an increasing national trend toward psychedelics reform, some lawmakers feel that Congress is still far behind what public opinion and science are saying, and not keeping up with the discussion taking place on state levels.
Psychedelics reform supporter Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) recently said he believes that natural plants and fungi like psilocybin can hold “really compelling benefits” when used in appropriate settings and that it’s “embarrassing” and “backward” how slow some federal lawmakers are approaching the subject, still holding “outmoded views” on it.
“I mean, put the recreational issue aside for a minute. A growing body of research shows this can be a game changer. I think that is just an incredibly compelling case. And on the other side, I basically hear a lot of dogma from the 1950s,” Huffman stated.
Photo courtesy by qimono on Pixabay and Doc James on Wikimedia Commons.
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