New Federal Bill Allocates $75M For Psychedelics Research To Support Active Service Members

Co-sponsored by numerous lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, newly-introduced HR 3684 would create a $75 million grant program for research into psychedelics’ potential for the treatment of mental health conditions among active duty military members, reported Marijuana Moment.

The “Douglas ‘Mike’ Day Psychedelic Therapy to Save Lives Act of 2023” directs the Defense secretary to create the program funding Phase 2 clinical trials on psilocybin, ibogaine, MDMA and 5-MeO-DMT for PTSD, TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, as well as for the training of practitioners to provide psychedelic-assisted therapy for active duty members, on a yearly $15 million budget spanning FY 2024 to 2028.

Importantly, the secretary would have to submit a report to Congress with information on the trials, starting 180 days following the bill’s enactment and every 180 days after that.

The introduced measure, which has been referred to the House Armed Services Committee was preceded by an April letter to a House Appropriations subcommittee requesting an expedition on the inclusion of active duty military service members in psychedelic studies.

Other prior efforts by Congressmembers regarding the advancement of psychedelics research include late 2022’s creation of a Psychedelics Caucus to lead congressional talks on psychedelic therapies and this March’s introduction of bipartisan and bicameral legislation to reschedule psychedelic treatments that hold the FDA status of “breakthrough therapies.”

Psychedelic therapy refers to a therapeutic approach that incorporates the controlled use of psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin (found in “magic mushrooms”) or MDMA (commonly known as “ecstasy” or “molly”), to facilitate psychological healing and personal growth. It involves a structured and supervised process that combines the ingestion of these substances with psychotherapy techniques.

During a psychedelic therapy session, a trained therapist guides and supports the individual through their psychedelic experience. The therapy is typically conducted in a safe and comfortable environment, often referred to as a “set and setting,” to enhance the overall therapeutic outcome. The therapist establishes a strong therapeutic alliance and creates a supportive atmosphere to promote trust and openness.

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