by Daveda Gruber:
On Friday Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., filed legislation to make it easier and possibly legal for researchers to study the therapeutic and medical benefits of psychedelic drugs. The drugs would include “magic mushrooms” in the study.
An appropriations bill, as far as Ocasio-Cortez is concerned, needs the amendment to end the rider that prohibits federal money being spent on “any activity that promotes the legalization of any drug or other substance in Schedule I” of the Controlled Substances Act.
There has been research at several universities into their effectiveness in treating mental health issues and addiction with the use of psychedelic drugs.
The Mushrooms were made illegal across the globe during the 1960s and 1970s.
Psilocybin is the active component of so-called “magic mushrooms,” and MDMA, commonly referred to as “ecstasy.” The drug has “shown promise in end of life therapy and treating PTSD,” a summary of Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal says.
The summary states that “Academics and scientists report that provisions like this create [stigma] and insurmountable logistical hurdles to researching Schedule I drugs.”
Mushrooms and peyote are entheogenic substances and have been widely used by Native Americans for centuries. Now it seems that people are looking at them differently.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University recommended that psilocybin be reclassified for medical use. Its benefits include helping treat PTSD, depression and anxiety and helping people stop smoking.
Matthew Johnson, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins told the New York Times, “In the 1960s, they were on the cutting edge of neuroscience research and understanding how the brain worked. But then it got out of the lab.”
Johnson went on to say that as the substances gain more mainstream acceptance for their medical uses, it could be a game changer for treating mental illness.
He said, “I see this as a new era in medicine. The data suggests that psychedelics are powerful behavioral agents.”
AOC could give researchers a way to study the possibilities that the drug has.
She tweeted this:
From the opioid crisis to psilocybin’s potential w/ PTSD, it’s well past time we take drug use out of criminal consideration + into medical consideration.
That begins with research. I’m proud to introduce an amendment that helps scientists do their jobs. https://t.co/V1BziVeNtr
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 8, 2019
Okay, I won’t go into all the responses to the tweet but a few were suggesting that maybe AOC has taken LSD. While noting the other statements and tweets that the freshman House Rep. has said or posted in the past, This was not such a wild accusation.
One Twitter user tweeted this:
I’m sure all the LSD that you’ve taken was under the clinical supervision of a doctor
— Cool Hand Luke (@AmericanBand911) June 9, 2019
Voters in Denver passed a measure in May that makes the personal use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms by those 21 years of age or older Denver’s “lowest law-enforcement priority.” People seem to be for this in certain areas of the country. Denver’s cannabis businesses are not permitted to sale of this drug but its users are not arrested or prosecuted.
This past Tuesday, Oakland City Council passed a resolution to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.
This vote would make the investigation and arrest of adults who grow, possess, use or distribute entheogenic plants one of the lowest priorities for police. No more city funds could be used to enforce laws which criminalizie the substances. The Alameda County district attorney would stop prosecuting people who have been apprehended for use or possession.
Coming up on Monday, the House Rules Committee, which prepares bills for action on the floor, will decide whether either or both of the drug policy reform amendments will be allowed for votes when the full body considers the funding legislation later in the week.
Altogether, more than 500 amendments have been submitted to the spending bill so far..
Let me be clear that I don’t know the sensation that people get when ingesting ‘magic mushrooms’ but I hope that it helps with mental illness, including depression.
I do know, by way of research, that similar to an LSD trip, tripping on magic mushrooms can cause a distorted sense of space, time and reality. Like LSD, magic mushrooms don’t technically cause hallucinations, or visions of things that aren’t actually there. Instead, they distort the perception of actual objects.
Some people may enjoy a distorted perception but I for one, will not try the drug.
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