American Support For And Understanding Of Psychedelic Drugs Continues To Broaden

American Support For And Understanding Of Psychedelic Drugs Continues To Broaden
American Support For And Understanding Of Psychedelic Drugs Continues To Broaden
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As the Psychedelics Revolution advances, we see revolutionary thinking toward psychedelic drugs spreading rapidly among the U.S. population




For 50 years, most psychedelic drugs have been criminalized – not just in the United States, but in most of the world.

For 50 years, we have been bombarded with anti-drug propaganda concerning these substances. Most of this we now know to be false. But this is a large wall of ignorance/prejudice to scale.

As the psychedelic drug industry seeks to have these drugs normalized while it pursues drug R&D, educating not only the general public but also politicians and regulators is crucial.

It won’t happen overnight. But we are seeing more and more clear indications that the American people are becoming educated about psychedelic drugs. And as that education spreads, so too does support for the normalization of these substances.

We see this growing awareness/understanding/support on display in various ways.
 
  1. Increasing understanding/support among the general public
  2. Rapidly increasing activity (at the state level) in either decriminalizing/legalizing some of these substances, or at least engaging in bone fide drug research
  3. A dramatic increase in media coverage of psychedelic drugs and drug research

The Average American is getting educated on psychedelics

Evidence of increasing support for and understanding of psychedelic drugs among the general public can be seen both anecdotally and in aggregate numbers.

A new Hill-HarrisX poll shows that more than one-third of Americans (35%) now understand that psychedelic drugs have legitimate medicinal uses.

Conversely, 65% of Americans still believe that these drugs have no medicinal uses. But here is where the polling numbers get interesting.

Among 18 to 29-year-olds, 53% of Americans now know that psychedelic drugs have legitimate medicinal uses. It’s among older Americans where large majorities still refuse to believe the emerging science on psychedelic drugs.

As already noted, a half-century of anti-drug propaganda has created strong anti-drug phobias among much of the population. Predictably, older Americans – who have been exposed to this anti-drug propaganda for much longer – are not opening their eyes to the new research on these drugs as quickly as younger Americans.

But even among older Americans, we are seeing clear indications that these anti-drug phobias are fading.
 
Former sheriff says Florida should legalize magic mushrooms

…in Florida, the latest people to push for this drug's legalization are usually wearing suits and ties, even uniforms and badges.

One of them is David Shoar, former four-term Sheriff of St. Johns County.

"What these substances seem to be able to do is create additional pathways of the mind, involving neurons and synapses to appreciate things at different levels," Shoar said. "Those levels allow you to be more productive, happier, more comfortable in your own skin. How can that not be a good thing?"

Two points stand out here.

a)  This is not War on Drugs thinking.
b)  Ordinary people are getting genuinely excited about the medicinal potential of psychedelic drugs.

During all the failed decades of the War on Drugs, it was rare for law enforcement officials (current or retired) to be emphatic supporters of drug legalization. And rarer still for such people to be willing to publicly express such opinions.

This former Florida sheriff doesn’t merely support legalization. He also has a fairly sophisticated understanding of how these substances operate therapeutically.

How often do lay people get excited enough about drug research to actually learn about how a drug operates?

The excitement is understandable. As Psychedelic Stock Watch has previously observed, psychedelic drugs are looking more and more like the “miracle drugs” of the 21st century.
 
Not only are these drugs generating spectacular results in clinical trials for mental health disorders such as depression and PTSD. Researchers are also increasingly confident that these drugs have therapeutic uses far beyond mental health alone – and psychedelics R&D is already rapidly advancing into many other major treatment markets.

State governments getting on board

Its not only retired sheriffs who are increasingly seeing the Light on the merits of psychedelic drugs. At least at the state level, politicians have rapidly stepped-up efforts to normalize these drugs in several U.S. states.

Three of the U.S.’s most-populous states are actively moving toward drug reform with one or more legislative initiatives. Marijuana Moment recently reviewed this activity.

California:
 
- a bill to decriminalize several psychedelic substances and legalize possession has just cleared the State Senate

New York:
 
- a bill to create a state-sponsored “psychedelics research institute” was just introduced, along with de-listing psilocybin/psilocin as controlled substances
- a bill to broadly decriminalize psychedelic drugs is already on the table

Texas:
 
- currently considering a bill that would require the state to study the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, specifically the potential of psilocybin and MDMA to treat PTSD

The motivations for U.S. states to at least consider psychedelic drug reform are numerous.

First, there is the catastrophic social and economic costs of continuing with failed War on Drugs policies. Then there are the numerous health-related motivations.

The Mental Health Crisis (now a pandemic) is spiralling out of control. Already, approximately 1 in 4 people suffer from stress-related disorders like depression, anxiety, addiction and PTSD, worldwide. As many as 2 billion people.

But even before the Mental Health Crisis gained prominence, the U.S. military was already experiencing a “crisis” of its own: an epidemic of veteran suicides – primarily related to PTSD. Existing therapeutic options for treating PTSD have achieved disappointing results for most veterans.

It is specifically this suicide epidemic that is motivating the conservative state government of Texas to seriously consider moving toward legalization of at least some of these substances for medicinal use.

Media helping to spread the message

For decades, the mainstream media was the primary mouthpiece for anti-drug government propaganda. Today, these same media organizations are now trumpeting the potential of psychedelic drugs in medicine – with ever-greater frequency.
 
The mainstream media earns much of the blame for the anti-drug phobias among the general public noted above.

With their large audiences, these same entities can now rapidly accelerate the education curve with psychedelic drugs. In a recent three-week span, no less than 17 feature articles on psychedelic drugs appeared at various mainstream outlets in the English-speaking world. Nearly one a day.

The media not only influences the thinking of the general public. It also has a significant influence on politicians and regulators.

The Food and Drug Administration is already showing positive indications with respect to the Psychedelics Revolution. It has not only approved a number of U.S. clinical trials for psychedelic drugs, it is also awarding its Breakthrough Therapy Designation – to help fast-track research.

Recognizing the unique nature of psychedelics-based therapies for mental health, the FDA has even approved the use of psychedelic drugs by a number of therapists – to help better-prepare them to administer these therapies. Very progressive thinking for the FDA.

It is only in Washington, D.C. where few (if any) signs of enlightenment regarding psychedelic drugs are visible.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. As one of the oldest demographics in the entire population, these political dinosaurs have been exposed to the entire half-century of anti-drug propaganda – and were even the architects of much of it.

Old habits die hard. It’s too bad when new thinking is desperately needed, for the benefit of the countless millions who could be helped from psychedelics-based medicine.

It was recently reported that 91% of Americans now support the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use. It’s perhaps the only issue in the United States today in which Democrats and Republicans are in complete agreement. But the D.C. Dinosaurs continue to stand in the way.

Now increasing numbers of Americans are wanting and demanding reform of psychedelic drug laws.

The Psychedelics Revolution is moving forward – with or without the support of the current batch of senior citizens in Congress. They can either join this Revolution, or get run-over by it.
 
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