An Iowa State Representative is proposing to legalize psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine for medicinal purposes.
Jeff Shipley, a very determined and forward-thinking Republican lawmaker has introduced two bills that would decriminalize and reschedule the psychedelic substances for clinical use.
The first piece of legislation would authorize a state pharmacy board to reclassify psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine for medicinal purposes and remove related penalties when utilized for medicinal purposes.
The second measure would remove psilocybin from the list of substances classified as schedule 1 controlled substances under Iowa’s uniform controlled substances act.
Shipley states, “I believe an Iowan should not be criminalized for trying to use psychedelic substances for medicinal purposes. The DEA currently identifies Psilocybin, MDMA and Ibogaine as Schedule 1 drugs, meaning they have no accepted medical use and high potential for abuse. A significant body of research indicates that there are substantial medical benefits. If these drugs can help our veterans who suffer with PTSD, our family members who suffer with an addiction, or help a loved one get relief from near death anxiety, we should be doing all we can to push making these options safe and available.
Current tools offered through the FDA offer treatment of symptoms associated with addiction, anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health issues. Psychedelics offer a potential cure. I support research for what these drugs may offer. In the meantime, I don’t see how putting a person in jail serves the public. Especially when it empowers them to help themselves.”
The global mental health crisis is in dire need of viable, long-lasting solutions. It is estimated that one in four adults currently suffers from a mental disorder. To no avail, medical professionals are handing out anti-depressants as if they were candy.
In the past few decades, the use of prescription antidepressants has gone up an alarming 400 percent. Concurrently, suicide rates have increased by an astounding 30% since 2000.
One recent study by the Lancet reported that psilocybin mushrooms were able to lift the severe depression of all 12 human volunteer participants, even though they had been struggling with the disease for an average of over 17 years and despite that fact that none of the subjects had found relief with multiple rounds of standard anti-depressant medication.
It is reported that an average of 20 US Veterans commit suicide daily due to PTSD. In a recent study by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), MDMA was proven to offer significant alleviation for those suffering. In Phase 2 trials with 107 participants, 61% no longer qualified for PTSD after three sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy two months following treatment. At the 12-month follow-up, 68% no longer had PTSD. All participants had chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD, and had suffered from PTSD for an average of 17.8 years.
It’s no wonder that the FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Meaning the FDA “has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.”
The US is also facing a major drug addiction public health crisis. Drug overdose is the leading cause of death in Americans under 50. Every day, more than 130 people in the US die from an opioid overdose. Users find it increasingly difficult to kick their addiction due to the horrendous withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings.
Ibogaine has proven to be effective in treating opiate addiction, with the majority of patients requiring only one or a few sessions. It’s not only useful in removing the symptoms of drug withdrawal and reducing drug cravings, but it has also been shown to help users understand and reverse their drug using behaviors. A December 2016 literature review found in the results of eight studies that “a single dose or a few treatments with ibogaine may significantly reduce drug withdrawal, craving, and self-administration in dependent individuals lasting from 24 hours to weeks or months.”
Perhaps one day we can praise Shipley for helping to lead the way in the movement to legalize psychedelics similar to that of the cannabis movement. Other parts of the country have been joining in on the renaissance. Denver could become the first city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms after the May 7th, 2019 election. Additionally, Oregon’s Secretary of State recently approved language for a 2020 ballot initiative that would make psilocybin mushrooms legal among licensed therapists.
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