Conservative lawmakers don’t typically advocate for loosening drug restrictions, but a bill that Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw recently introduced into the U.S. House does just that.
Crenshaw’s bill would direct the Secretary of Defense to fund treatment and studies on drugs like psilocybin and MDMA for active-duty military with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Private sector studies of MDMA and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy have already shown great promise in treating these issues.
Crenshaw formally announced the Douglas ‘Mike’ Day Psychedelic Therapy to Save Lives Act last month and it has since gained broad bipartisan support. Unlikely allies Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. J. Luis Correa – both Democratic cosponsors of the bill – joined Crenshaw at a recent press conference to recognize the progress of the bill and explain its importance.
Crenshaw addressed the elephant (and donkey) in the room directly, calling the team a “really wild coalition.”
But the bipartisan support is no fluke. High military and veteran suicide rates and the effectiveness of psychedelic treatments make this bill appealing to representatives across the political spectrum. “I still can’t find one member of Congress that is actually opposed to this,” Crenshaw said.
Jesse Gould joined Texas Standard to provide some context on the potential psychedelics have to help active-duty military and veterans. Gould is an Army Ranger veteran whose own PTSD symptoms disappeared after an ayahuasca retreat in Peru. His nonprofit, Heroic Hearts Project, helps veterans find psychedelic therapy programs.