A bipartisan group in Congress dubbed The Psychedelics Caucus was announced yesterday, led by Orange County Congressman Lou Correa (D) and Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman (R).
Officially the Congressional Psychedelics Advancing Clinical Treatments (PACT) Caucus, the group aims to advance research for therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs — like psilocybin found in magic mushrooms, and MDMA, also known as “Molly” — on Capitol Hill, and to “support increases in federal funding for psychedelic science, and examine regulatory impediments to psychedelic research,” reports MAPS.
This follows on the heels of voters in Colorado passing a statewide measure legalizing psychedelics earlier this month, and Oregon passing a similar law in 2020. While California lags behind its western neighbors in liberalizing psychedelics, efforts remain underway — read our write-up on California’s psychedelics legalization progress here.
Less of an advocacy coalition for passing legalization measures, PACT will push for federal funding into research studies surrounding the beneficial uses for psychedelics and serve as an education resource and center for those conversations with lawmakers.
Many recent studies have shown an array of mental health benefits from the use of psychedelics. Regarding magic mushrooms, CNN reports that “small clinical trials that have shown that one or two doses of psilocybin, given in a therapeutic setting, can make dramatic and long-lasting changes in people suffering from treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, which typically does not respond to traditional antidepressants.”
Bergman and Correa stated their hope that psychedelic therapies can bolster treatments for mental health issues, and in particular, to benefit veterans.
Correa has been a long-time supporter of psychedelics research, and believes they can help veterans “deal with those invisible wounds that they bring back from the battlefield—PTSD and other mental issues that they bring back with them and carry with them on a day to day basis,” reports Marijuana Moment.
In a press release, Bergman stated, “Having served our nation as a member of the United States military and in Congress, I’ve seen the destruction post-traumatic stress disorder can cause on my fellow veterans and their families. Our job is to find solutions to these problems, and if psychedelic-assisted therapy can help treat or even fully cure someone of their PTSD, we need to take a closer look at these potential life-saving therapies.”
The announcement of PACT comes on the same day that bipartisan Senators filed the Breakthrough Therapies Act, which would downgrade breakthrough psychedelic therapies from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, reports Marijuana Moment.
Read more about psychedelics legalization efforts in California in our write-up, and about the different major psychedelics in our 101 Guide.
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