Research from recent years has revealed that psychedelic drugs have the potential to revolutionize mental health treatment. Psychedelics are federally classified as Schedule I drugs with no medical potential, however, making it nigh impossible for the people who would benefit from psychedelic treatments to access them.
Fortunately, this may soon change after the U.S. House of Representatives passed psychedelic therapy amendments that would expand research into the benefits of psychedelics and allow veterans to access psychedelic-assisted PTSD treatments. The bipartisan amendments by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Dan Crenshaw would increase access to psychedelics treatments for military veterans as well as active members of the military. They were added to the annual National Defense Authorization Act. The $839 billion defense bill was passed by 149 Republicans and 180 Democrats.
The amendments come in the midst of what some have called the psychedelics renaissance. Public interest in psychedelics has skyrocketed, and there has been an upsurge in psychedelic interest among the scientific community as well.
The new amendments by Crenshaw and Ocasio-Cortez, while they may not have decriminalized psychedelics at the federal level, are a solid step towards federally decriminalizing the drugs. Crenshaw, a former service member, said that psychedelics have the proven ability to treat mental health conditions and asked fellow Republicans to support the amendment.
Studies have found that psychedelics can provide significant mental health benefits, especially for treatment-resistant depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are conditions that tend to affect veterans, with up to half a million veterans suffering from PTSD; individuals diagnosed with PTSD often have negative life outcomes.
The amendments will expand research into psilocybin, MDMA and lesser-known psychedelics such as 5-MeO-DMT and ibogaine.
Although the bipartisan push behind the amendments is quite rare, it does not seem as if Crenshaw and Ocasio-Cortez worked together to pass the bill. Crenshaw has been criticized in the past for opposing legislation introduced by Ocasio-Cortez that would have reduced the barriers to psychedelic research. However, he seemed to come around later when he said during an event at Rice University that MDMA therapy sounded “amazing.”
Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, has introduced several measures to increase access to psychedelics in the past, including bipartisan measures identical to the measure that was adopted by the House.
Jonathan Lubecky, the veterans and governmental affairs liaison for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, hopes that the Senate will also adopt the measure now that the House has advanced it with Ocasio-Cortez’s and Crenshaw’s support.
It remains to be seen whether these amendments will be passed into law and how they will improve the conditions under which companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) operate as these organizations seek to develop revolutionary treatments for some of the most hard-to-treat psychiatric conditions.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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