In a surprising turn of events, psychedelic therapy treatment receives bipartisan support from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Dan Crenshaw—but who’s receiving the treatment, and why?
Despite belonging to different political parties, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw bizarrely agreed on one thing last Wednesday: The government should fund research on psychedelic therapy treatments. Ocasio-Cortez’s amendment calls for further studies on MDMA and psilocybin, while Crenshaw seeks the same with psychedelics ibogaine and 5-MeO-DMT. There’s only one catch: The treatment will be provided exclusively to veterans and active-duty service members suffering from PTSD.
Multiple clinical trials have already shown the efficiency of psychedelics in caring for those with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The House of Representatives’s adoption of these amendments is a small win for the treatment of mental illnesses and the decriminalization of these drugs in general, considering the exponentially growing need for them. However, these breakthroughs still need to be approved by the Senate in order to move forward.
“If AOC and Crenshaw can agree, it’s hard to fight against it.”
The government might have found a viable treatment for traumatized troops, but it hasn’t fully considered its responsibility for the large-scale deterioration of their mental health. American military bases exist around the globe, and armed forces are sent to almost every nation without adequate reason. Many of these soldiers are recruited immediately after high school, when they’re young and impressionable. They end up witnessing the deaths of their friends, severe combat, and the destruction of cities and communities. It makes sense that these experiences manifest in PTSD; while new options for treatment are welcome, the root cause of the issue remains unaddressed.
For now, we can only hope that last Wednesday’s developments open the door to fresh attitudes toward psychedelic therapy, which would benefit veterans and active-duty service members in addition to the general public—military treatment could very well be the vehicle for psychedelic decriminalization on a national scale. As long as the issue stays outside the bounds of rigid partisanship, there’s room for legitimate progress. “My hope is that the Senate will put bickering aside and [pass the amendments],” Jonathan Lubecky, Veterans and Governmental Affairs Liaison for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, was quoted as saying. “If AOC and Crenshaw can agree, it’s hard to fight against it.”