An unlikely pair, but then, you could say that’s what psychedelics are all about …. being outside the box. That said when you see a photo of them both it all makes more sense.
The firebrand New York Democrat and the conservative Texas congressman rarely find themselves on the same side of the table.
But Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) share support for expanding psychedelic research studies to active-duty military. The duo filed separate amendments on expanding psychedelics research to service members that earlier this month got attached to the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 7900). The amendments’ fate as the legislation moves to the Senate remains unclear, though some key senators have expressed interest.
“They are, I would argue, kind of collaborative amendments in a way,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a brief hallway interview, adding that staff from both their offices have spoken about such research.
Ocasio-Cortez’s amendment would fund a study looking at MDMA — the drug known commonly as ecstasy or molly — and psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, as alternatives to opioid treatments for military members. Veterans are twice as likely to die from an opioid-related overdose than civilian Americans, according to the American Addiction Centers.
Crenshaw’s amendment would focus on a Secretary of Defense grant program for psychedelic clinical trials for service members with post-traumatic stress disorder. The trials would study treatments with psilocybin, MDMA, and ibogaine — a naturally occurring psychoactive substance — Crenshaw said.