Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed legislation on Friday to remove a legal barrier that would make it easier for scientists to study the medical benefits of psilocybin, MDMA, and other drugs, per The New York Post.
“From the opioid crisis to psilocybin’s potential w/ PTSD, it’s well past time we take drug use out of criminal consideration + into medical consideration,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "That begins with research. I'm proud to introduce an amendment that helps scientists do their jobs.”
"Academics and scientists report that provisions like this create [stigma] and insurmountable logistical hurdles to researching Schedule I drugs," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in the summary of her amendment.
Psilocybin, the psychoactive substance found in “magic mushrooms” and outlawed in the 1960s, has shown promise as a treatment for PSTD as well as end of life therapy. Psychedelics like this aren’t legal for medical use, though researchers at John Hopkins hope that one day the Food and Drug Administration will reclassify them, as their analysis found it can help treat depression, anxiety, and arthritis, the New York Times reported.
Last month, Denver became the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize the use of psilocybin mushrooms. This past week Oakland followed suit, also decriminalizing magic mushrooms and peyote. The natural drugs aren’t exactly legal, but the Oakland police cannot impose criminal penalties for using them and people with pending prosecution for use of those drugs will have their cases dismissed, CNN reports.
Ocasio-Cortez is also passionate about fighting to decriminalize and legalize marijuana, another Schedule 1 drug
While serving on the Financial Services Committee, Ocasio-Cortez commented on the racial wealth gap that exists as the legalization of marijuana continues across the country and white-owned business selling the product are created.
“What this looks like...is that the folks who profited off for-profit incarceration get to profit off the legalization of marijuana first, while the communities most impacted are last in the door,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.