Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Says Legal Psychedelic Therapy Should Be Paid For With Universal Healthcare System

October 15, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Marianne Williamson, a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, says the federal government should “fully legalize” certain psychedelics like psilocybin for therapeutic use and cover the costs for patients under a universal healthcare system.

In a new plan focused on mental health, Williamson laid out 10 proposals that she said would help address the country’s “record levels of suicide, depression, anxiety, and toxic stress.” That includes legalizing psychedelic-assisted therapy with full insurance coverage.

“For some of the most widespread mental health challenges we face—such as depression, addiction, anxiety, and PTSD—psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy using psilocybin and MDMA has shown incredible promise to completely revolutionize mental healthcare,” she said. “Some of these therapies are on the verge of FDA clearance, and some have already been legalized in states like Oregon.”

To that point, recent results from Phase 3 clinical trials into MDMA have supported the drug’s therapeutic potential in the treatment of PTSD, and there are growing expectations that it could receive federal approval as early as next year.

Another recent study found that psilocybin use is associated with “persisting reductions” in depression, anxiety, alcohol misuse—as well as increases in emotional regulation, spiritual wellbeing and extraversion.

Williamson, who previously discussed her interest in exploring psychedelics therapy before entering the 2024 presidential race, also pointed out that ketamine is currently accessible for the treatment of conditions like depression.

“We must fully legalize the types of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy that have shown success in research, and we must provide significant state funding for research into other promising psychedelic therapies, such as ibogaine for addiction,” the Democratic candidate said.

“In states where psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has been legalized, it is still so costly that many cannot afford it,” she added. “We cannot allow cost to impede access to any kind of healthcare—whether mental or physical, psychedelic or otherwise—so we must cover psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy within a universal healthcare system.”

The soap company Dr. Bronner’s made headlines last year when it offered psychedelic-assisted therapy with ketamine to workers through its employee health plan. And recently, the healthcare nonprofit that covered the treatment announced that it is expanding the offering to patients across the country.

But for the time being, psilocybin therapy services that are being offered in Oregon under a voter-approved ballot initiative can be prohibitively expensive. Advocates worry that the current legalization models that are being implemented in Oregon as well as Colorado will fail to achieve health care equity goals without some type of financial relief for patients.

“By focusing on preventative health care measures, including robust mental health support, we can aim to shift the healthcare system from treating symptoms to addressing the root causes of illness,” Williamson said. “These innovative approaches have the potential to not only improve the health and well-being of individuals but also reduce healthcare costs and enhance the overall quality of life for all citizens.”

Williamson isn’t the only 2024 presidential hopeful to express interest in psychedelics policy reform.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who initially entered the race as a Democrat but has since switched to running as an independent, has said he would legalize marijuana and psychedelics if elected to the White House—and he’d tax both substances, using revenue to create “healing centers” where people recovering from drug addiction could learn organic farming as a therapeutic tool.

Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has also endorsed the idea of giving military veterans with conditions like PTSD access to certain psychedelics.

Incumbent President Joe Biden is “very open-minded” about the use of psychedelic medicines to treat addiction, according to his younger brother. However, the president has not publicly discussed the issue. (Full Story)

In categories:Politics Psychedelics
Next Post

GOP Marijuana Banking Bill Sponsor Says Senate Floor Vote On Hold Until House Passage Assured, Cannabis Financing Exec Who Spoke To Him Says

The lead GOP Senate cosponsor of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill says a planned floor vote is on pause until he can ensure the legislation will later pass the Republican-controlled House, according to a cannabis financing executive who spoke with…
Read
Previous Post

Marijuana Rescheduling Would ‘Supersize’ The Industry, Former DEA Heads And White House Drug Czars Warn Biden Administration

Six former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) heads and five former White House drug czars have sent a letter to the attorney general and current DEA administrator, voicing opposition to the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. They also…
Read
Random Post

Petition To Repeal South Dakota’s Medical Marijuana Law Contains Error And Must Be Thrown Out, Opponents Say

Backers of a 2024 ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis in South Dakota are calling on state officials to scuttle a separate initiative effort that would repeal the state’s existing medical marijuana law. South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, which…
Read
Random Post

Australia Sees Huge Rise In People Accessing Legal Medical Cannabis

The 2018 CAMS survey found 2.5 percent of respondents had accessed a legal prescription. In 2022, it's 37% – but price remains an issue. A new survey has shown a dramatic increase in the percentage of Australians accessing prescription cannabis…
Read
Random Post

GOP Senators Tell DEA To Reject Marijuana Rescheduling, Arguing It Would Violate International Treaties

Three Republican senators are urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reject the top federal health agency’s marijuana rescheduling recommendation, arguing that it would put the U.S. out of compliance with international treaty obligations and make it harder to ensure…
Read
Random Post

The End of Big Alcohol Is Coming? - Cannabis Use vs. Alcohol Use Is Almost Dead Even Now in the 18 to 25 Year-Old Demographic

A recent analysis by TD Cowen's analyst, Vivien Azer, sheds light on a shift in consumer behavior, highlighting the competition between legal cannabis and alcohol sales. Over the past five years, alcohol sales in states where cannabis is legal have lagged behind…
Read