Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a contender for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, intends to legalize marijuana and psychedelics should he win the presidency. Additionally, he proposes implementing taxes on these substances, with the generated revenue being utilized to establish “healing centers.” These centers would serve as places where individuals recovering from drug addiction can engage in organic farming as a therapeutic approach. Kennedy also advocates for enabling greater access to banking services for the cannabis industry.
While the candidate’s stance on drug policy reform was initially unclear upon entering the race, it has since become evident and defined as he actively promotes progressive policies that often surpass those of the current President, Joe Biden.
Legalizing Psychedelics and Marijuana for Healing and Recovery
During a comprehensive town hall event with NewsNation, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. openly discussed his battle with addiction during his younger years and the valuable insights he gained from his decades-long recovery journey. While he typically refrains from recommending drugs for substance misuse, he acknowledges the potential of psychedelics in facilitating the profound psychological healing necessary for sustained recovery, drawing from his own family experiences.
Kennedy expressed his support for legalizing psychedelic drugs, albeit with regulated access rather than a commercial market where substances can be freely purchased. His vision extends beyond mere legalization. He outlined his plan to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, granting states the authority to regulate it while continuing to impose federal taxes that would contribute to funding recovery programs. Similarly, he advocates for the non-criminalization of psychedelic drugs.
The proposed cannabis and psychedelic tax-funded recovery program take inspiration from the San Patrignano treatment center in Italy. This center assists individuals grappling with addiction or at risk of falling into addiction, employing an agricultural-based approach for support. Residents engage in activities like gardening, forestry, and animal care.
Kennedy emphasized the need to establish similar healing centers in the United States, particularly in economically disadvantaged rural areas. As president, he pledged to decriminalize marijuana, establish secure banking laws for cannabis industry operators, implement federal taxation, and allocate the resulting revenue to build these healing centers nationwide. These centers would enable young people to cultivate organic food, maintain a nourishing diet, and embark on spiritual, physical, and emotional healing.
Kennedy’s Critique of Drug Treatment and His Call for Accessible Psychedelic Therapy
The mention of “safe banking laws” alludes to the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, designed to shield financial institutions collaborating with state-authorized cannabis businesses from federal regulatory penalties. However, the proposal to institute a federal tax on marijuana sales represents a more substantial departure from the status quo.
Kennedy also criticized the prevailing approach to drug treatment in the United States. He clearly understood what works and outlined his vision for the country, emphasizing the need to make addiction treatment accessible, uncomplicated, and cost-effective. He highlighted how certain factors had led the drug treatment industry into what he considers an almost predatory system.
Regarding psychedelics, the candidate acknowledged having reviewed studies on these substances. He recognized the multitude of individuals benefiting from psychedelics in various ways and emphasized the necessity of simplifying access, possibly through prescription or therapeutic administration.
While he remained undecided about unrestricted over-the-counter sales, he emphasized the importance of facilitating the beneficial use of psychedelics for the well-being of children and society at large, drawing from personal experiences within his own family.
Kennedy mentioned witnessing remarkable recoveries from conditions such as PTSD in veterans, severe depression, OCD, and other ailments due to psychedelic therapy.
He clarified that he was not advocating for blanket legalization but rather urged for measures to enable psychiatrists and trained therapists to conduct experiments using these substances on their patients to obtain positive outcomes.
Kennedy’s Stance on Drug Policy and Contrasting Views within the Kennedy Family
During a recent interview, the candidate was asked about the insensitive portrayal of the current president’s son and his struggle with substance misuse. In response, the candidate expressed empathy, describing addiction as a tragic, complex, and challenging issue. They extended their best wishes to the son and his family.
This discussion followed the candidate’s criticism of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate, for his opposition to the federal decriminalization of marijuana. The candidate shared an article from Marijuana Moment highlighting this stance.
As the son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, the candidate emphasized their commitment to implementing cannabis reform if elected as president. They condemned the existing conflict between state and federal drug policies as “absurd.”
While the candidate has faced criticism from some Democrats regarding their views on vaccines, they aim to set themselves apart in the realm of drug policy as they present their case to voters for why they should be chosen over Biden.
In an unexpected turn of events during this election cycle, the younger brother of President Biden revealed during a radio show that the president maintains an open-minded attitude towards the therapeutic use of psychedelic medicines for addiction treatment.
In a recent approach Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Biden administration, inquired about the department’s position on psychedelics policy. However, Becerra deferred to the expertise of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which actively supports funding opportunities to explore the scientific and legal aspects of psychedelics.
In addition, another member of the Kennedy family, former Representative Joe Kennedy III from Massachusetts, who previously opposed marijuana reform during his time in Congress, announced a change of heart in 2020. He now supports legalization and advocates for exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, has outlined his progressive drug policy reform agenda, emphasizing the legalization of marijuana and psychedelics while implementing taxes to fund recovery programs and establish healing centers. His vision extends beyond decriminalization, aiming to provide accessible and holistic treatment options for individuals struggling with addiction. Kennedy’s stance on drug policy has become a focal point of his campaign, distinguishing him from the incumbent President Biden. While facing criticism on other fronts, Kennedy remains committed to pushing for meaningful change in drug policy, drawing upon personal experiences and advocating for evidence-based approaches to addiction treatment. The Kennedy family’s evolving views on drug reform, as seen in support of Joe Kennedy III and President Biden’s open-mindedness toward psychedelics, further highlight the shifting landscape of drug policy discussions in the United States. (Full Story)