GOP Congresswoman Barbara Lee gave a fiery floor speech on Thursday, calling for renewed research into the potential benefits of psychedelics and marijuana on veterans with PTSD and other physical and mental ailments. Lee implored Congress to put politics aside and focus on the science to help the thousands of veterans who are suffering from conditions that cannot be relieved with current treatments. As Lee highlighted, failing to research these potential cures means missing out on a possible life-changing opportunity for our country’s brave service members.
1. Congresswoman Makes Historic Pitch For Psychedelics and Cannabis Research
Rep. Barbara Lee of California has made history – and what a way to do it! In March 2021, she unveiled a historic piece of legislation, the Research Entrusting Federal Studies on Cannabis and Psychedelic Plants (REFOCUS) Act, that would dedicate a total of $5 million for researching the potential of psychedelic plants and cannabis.
The REFOCUS Act would set up a task force, comprised of government officials and researchers. Once empowered, they would take a comprehensive look into all possible areas where psychedelic use and cannabis use could offer therapeutic benefits, as well as examine any potential harms. The task force would be conjoined with existing government projects and health organizations.
- The study would focus on mental health, dependence and addiction, pain management, palliative and end-of-life care, and other therapeutic outcomes.
- It will also look at drug policy reform, public safety, criminal justice fines and fees, economic opportunities in the cannabis and psychedelic markets, young adult and youth use, and new or better products for medical purposes.
2. Proposal Seeks To Help Veterans With Mental Health Issues
The proposal aims to promote better mental health care services among veterans. It is both a long- and short-term approach which seeks to facilitate the transition from battle-torn to civilian life. The goal is to ensure that all veterans who are struggling with mental health challenges have easy access to assistance when and where they need it.
The primary areas of focus include:
- Mental health screenings – All returning veterans would be provided with free and comprehensive physical and mental health assessments. This will ensure that any current or underlying mental health issues can be identified and addressed at an early stage.
- Access to resources – Veterans would always have access to free or low-cost resources from local, state, and national service providers that specialize in mental health care.
- Support networks – There would be the establishment of local veteran-specific support groups made up of members of the veteran and civilian communities. Their purpose would be to provide treatment, advice, and emotional support for veterans in need.
3. A New Frontier For Medical Treatments?
The future of medical treatments is looking more and more exciting. A range of innovative, cutting-edge treatments are being developed that could revolutionize our approach to medical care. Some of these new treatments include:
- Stem cell therapy
- Gene therapy
- Cancer vaccines
- Robotic surgery
These treatments offer unparalleled insight into the workings of the human body, introducing treatments that are both precise and minimally-invasive. What’s more, they make it possible for medical professionals to leverage the data-gathering capabilities of artificial intelligence to tackle complex diseases.
Moreover, treatments such as gene therapy and stem cell therapy are capable of repairing the body from within, enabling the natural healing process to occur even more effectively. Early trials for these treatments have already proven successful; and as the technology continues to improve, these treatments could provide relief where traditional medical treatments have failed.
4. How Would Legalization of Psychedelics & Cannabis Impact Veterans?
With evidence showing that psychedelic drugs and marijuana can help manage PTSD, there are many soldiers and veterans who believe that these substances could help heal wounds that are not easily treated with traditional pharmaceuticals. Many veterans suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety and feel that these substances offer a more effective form of therapeutic treatment.
Legalizing psychedeliсs and cannabis is an important step in alleviating the suffering of many veterans. It would offer them access to medicinal treatments that are more holistic and effective than medication alone, while offering protection from the stigma associated with using these substances. With legalization, veterans would no longer feel the need to hide their use, allowing for more open dialogue within veteran communities. This could create an environment where veterans feel more comfortable discussing mental health and the steps they are taking to manage it.
- Legalization would increase access to treatments not available through traditional pharmaceuticals
- Provide protection from the stigma associated with using psychedeliсs and cannabis
- Increase open dialogue within veteran communities
In the fight for veterans’ mental health, GOP Congresswoman XYZ has proven that pushing for pro-psychedelic and marijuana research can be a bipartisan effort—highlighting a potential for the future of veterans’ health and drug policy. The road to research-backed conclusions for the treatment of mental health issues in veterans is long and winding — but Congresswoman XYZ blazed a trail of hope in her inspiring floor speech.