GOP Congresswoman Pushes For Psychedelics And Marijuana Research For Veterans In Floor Speech

July 17, 2023 ·

A GOP congresswoman is touting recently released Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on psychedelics research and calling for additional work to study the therapeutic benefits of marijuana for military veterans.

In a speech on the House floor on Wednesday, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) talked about the need to support “novel forms of research” to unlock the potential of psychedelics and cannabis for the treatment of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that commonly afflict veterans.

“As a doctor, former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health and 24-year U.S. Army veteran, the mental, emotional and physical health of my constituents and fellow veterans is one of my top priorities in Congress,” she said. “For too long, PTSD and other mental or physical ailments have had devastating effects and far too often go untreated.”

“The new FDA guidance that presents considerations for designing clinical trials for psychedelic drugs will give patients and their doctors increased access to effective treatments, rather than alternatives such as opioids,” she said.

The guidance was also requested under a bipartisan bill that Miller-Meeks introduced, alongside Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Ro Khanna (D-CA), late last month. Days after that filing, FDA came out with the first-ever non-binding guidelines to support research into developing psychedelic medicines.

The congresswoman and her fellow cosponsors—as well as the c0-chairs of a congressional psychedelics caucus—have applauded the agency for taking the step.

In the House floor speech, Miller-Meeks also briefly discussed a separate bill she’s championing, the Veterans Cannabis Analysis, Research, and Effectiveness (CARE) Act, which she filed in March.

She said that the legislation would “allow the [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] to research the effectiveness of using medical cannabis for chronic mental and physical pain.” The congressman also noted that her interest in this field is the reason “we have held roundtables on emerging breakthrough therapies” in the House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee that she chairs.

“I hope others will join me in supporting these novel forms of research that will benefit our heroic veterans,” she said.

Meanwhile, cannabis and psychedelics policy is also being advanced as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House including a provision mandating Department of Defense studies into psilocybin and other substances, along with one on a medical marijuana pilot program.

Additional cannabis and psychedelics amendments were blocked from receiving floor votes by the House Rules Committee, however.

Separately, the Senate Appropriations Committee recently released a report for a spending bill that calls on VA to facilitate medical marijuana access for veterans and explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. (Full Story)

In categories:Politics Psychedelics
Next Post

Florida Marijuana Ballot Measure Would Net Up To $431 Million In Annual Tax Revenue, Analysts For DeSantis And Lawmakers Say

Officials from the Florida legislature and the office of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) estimate that a marijuana legalization initiative that may appear on the 2024 ballot would generate between $195.6 million and $431.3 million in new sales tax revenue annually…
Previous Post

New FDA Guidance on Psychedelics Could Open Minds, Funding Sources

Last month, federal regulators released research guidance for classic psychedelics, marking the first time the government has offered suggestions for studying medicines like LSD, MDMA and psilocybin to treat mental illness. The draft guidance signals a shift in the medical…
Random Post

Sacramento City Council Meeting ‘Delves Into Chaos’ After Closing 11-Acre Pot Farm

A large cannabis operation with 22 buildings spanning over 11 acres must temporarily cease operations as hundreds of employees are fighting for their jobs, culminating in a chaotic Sacramento City Council meeting. Law enforcement officials ordered Natura to close on…
Random Post

Sure, I Can Drive Stoned Just Fine! - Almost 40% of Gen Z Says Driving High on Cannabis is No Problem?

Gen Z'ers Say They Can Drive Stoned Just Fine, Thank You Very Much! Many of Colorado's teenage drivers think they can drive safely while high on marijuana, according to a new poll by the state's Department of Transportation (CDOT). The CDOT…
Random Post

Number of the Week: 2.4%

2.4% – Percent of flower and pre-roll products in Oregon that are a Runtz strain While no strain dominates the Oregon market, strains with Runtz in its name or listed as its parent genetics are inching their way to the…
Random Post

Beer, Scratch Ticket, Weed - Gas Station Cannabis is Coming to Florida and then the World

Green Thumb Industries' CEO expressed confidence in an interview that regulators in Florida will ultimately approve the company's groundbreaking deal to establish medical cannabis dispensaries alongside Circle K gas stations throughout the state. The partnership between the multistate operator and Circle K would…