Drug policy reform is one of the few issues that can reach across the political divide and become a nonpartisan, even though it can take years, if not decades, to overcome partisan tensions. For far too long cannabis laws became stuck between opposing sides of a cultural war until medicinal use broke through and reached supermajority support as severe and debilitating medical conditions certainly don’t care about party affiliation. As more and more people realized that allowing consenting adults the option of utilizing cannabis didn’t cause the sky to fall and could even create more jobs and revenue, full legalization has garnered stronger and stronger public support across all demographics. Now, there are signs of hope that the medicinal benefits of psilocybin and other psychedelics can follow in the footsteps of the cannabis movement. While, of course, Oregon made the bigger headlines by legalizing psilocybin therapy passing Measure 109 last year, Texas somewhat flew under the radar when the Lonestar State approved a pilot program to study the potential of psilocybin to treat veterans post-traumatic stress. The Wisconsin State Journal reported on how former Texas Governor Rick Perry added his voice to the important bipartisan psilocybin bill:
“Never a fan of legalizing recreational drugs, Perry came out of semi-retirement this spring to back a Texas Democrat in her bid to require a state clinical study of using psilocybin — found in “magic mushrooms” — to help veterans with mental health problems.
“’Ten years ago, if you’d made a bet that Rick Perry’s name and ‘psychedelics’ would be used in the same sentence, you could have won a lot of money,’ he told a largely Wisconsin crowd that met Tuesday on the Promega Corp. campus in Fitchburg.
“Perry quickly added he had seen enough examples of how the drug has worked — especially with U.S. military veterans suffering from PTSD who traveled to Mexico for treatment — that he became a convert to supporting more study and possible use in the United States.”
While Oregon voters passed its medical cannabis bill back in 1998, PTSD wasn’t added as qualifying condition until a bipartisan bill was approved by legislators in 2013. Veterans sharing their stories was extremely influential and the main key to expanding the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to include PTSD. It can take time for enough people to be educated, but it’s imperative that we put in the work and continue to spread the truth. We can expect veterans to play a key role for psilocybin and other psychedelic therapies as we progress state by state. A sincere thanks to everyone putting in the work and sharing their truth. Step by step, we can help more and more people by unlocking the healing properties of substances wrongly prohibited by the failed Drug War.
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