Psychedelic therapy has been a hot topic among lawmakers, researchers, medical practitioners, and the general public for decades.
This topic is quite controversial, and many anti-drug lawmakers are staunchly against even encouraging research on the subject. Atlanta lawmakers met to discuss a proposed resolution in support of locally decriminalizing psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and MDMA (ecstasy). They heard testimony on the therapeutic benefits of entheogenic substances and discussed a plan to further consider the reform in a work session.
A History Of Psychedelics In The USA
Throughout the 1950s, the potential therapeutic effects of LSD were studied in the United States and in Europe. Psychedelics were popular experimental drugs intended to treat a whole host of psychological issues. Unfortunately, the CIA also used them for quite nefarious purposes and the infamous MK Ultra experiments were launched. While horrifyingly unethical, this project demonstrated vested state interest in psychedelics and shows just how much money was being funnelled into the research. Unfortunately, In the 1960s, as drugs became symbols of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and anti-war sentiments, the government stopped researching the potentially positive effects of psychedelic treatment. Then, in June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs”—a war that has been unrelentingly waged for the past 50 years.
A Fight To End The War On Drugs
The War on Drugs has had some pretty devastating effects on individuals and communities all over the world. It’s not just the people who are incarcerated—it’s their families, too. The War on Drugs has ruined entire communities by tearing apart families, destroying lives and futures, and making it nearly impossible for people to find jobs or housing.
It’s also contributed to the degradation of public mental health by demonizing a group of substances used for thousands of years by cultures worldwide to help people deal with mental health issues like depression, addiction, PTSD, and anxiety. Research into these substances has been halted, and most psychedelics are incredibly difficult to study due to strict drug laws in many countries.
People demonized something they knew very little about to make themselves feel safe from something they didn’t understand. Now we’re talking about lowering restrictions on psychedelics and ending this war so that people who could genuinely be helped by them can access them without fear of legal repercussions or societal stigma!
The Atlanta Hearing
In an unexpected move, Georgia lawmakers voted to advance a resolution that would decriminalize psychedelic therapies.
Notoriously conservative members of the GA government heard testimony about psychedelic therapies at the meeting and described it as “very, very poignant” and “heart-rending.” After hearing personal testimony from Georgia residents detailing their own experiences with psychedelic treatment, lawmakers voted unanimously to hold the measure for further consideration. This is a groundbreaking development in a particularly conservative state!
The resolution, which Decriminalize Nature Georgia introduced, calls on the Atlantic City Council to formally request that police make it “the lowest law enforcement priority” to investigate or arrest people with psychedelics in their possession.
Under this proposed resolution, it would still be illegal to manufacture drugs such as LSD or ecstasy.
The Future Of Psychedelic Therapy In America
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently mentioned that it is considering creating a task force to investigate psychedelics and their medical benefits. This push is primarily thanks to advocacy groups who have been fighting for the right to try for decades now.
As more cities and states move to decriminalize psychedelics, the United States is playing catch-up. But hopefully, we won’t be playing for long.
Cities like Denver and Seattle have already taken steps to decriminalize psychedelic use, while others are following suit. States like Oregon have legalized psychedelics as well. Outside of the United States, the Canadian province of British Columbia also allows psychedelics to be sold in stores.
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