U.S. Psychedelic Drug Legalization: Urgency Or Inertia?

Psychedelic drug research shows the clear potential to provide genuine healing for these sufferers. And an economic study by MAPS (on MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD) shows the potential for enormous cost savings on treatment – as well as far superior outcomes.

Legalizing psychedelic drugs would begin to reduce the enormous productivity losses associated with mental health disorders. Psychedelics also show enormous potential to either dramatically reduce spending on mental health, or simply deliver far, far better results from this spending.

Win, win.

Political crisis

If legalizing psychedelic drugs in the United States was ‘only’ about helping 10s of millions of Americans and saving $100s of billions per year, advocates for psychedelics legalization might still be pessimistic about their chances.

In recent years, Congress has generally seemed quite happy to fiddle as Rome burns. But there is one political consideration that even Congressional dinosaurs rarely ignore: supporting the military.

“National defense” is not only a reliable vote-getter among the American people. Keeping the defense industry strong is also a tried-and-true tactic of U.S. politicians to keep their own campaign coffers full.

The U.S. military doesn’t merely have a mental health “crisis” in its ranks. It is dealing with a mental health catastrophe.

  1. Over 73,000 suicides in just the last 14 years (four times as many as have actually died on active duty)
  2. PTSD at double-digit rates among personnel who have served in one of the U.S.’s recent wars
  3. Two-thirds of veterans receiving treatment for PTSD from the Department of Defense express dissatisfaction with their treatment

As the DoD deals with this catastrophe within its ranks, it has to confront another bleak reality. Roughly 70% of Young Americans are deemed to be unfit for military service.

The DoD can’t afford this horrific attrition rate among current military personnel – because there have never been less Americans available as replacements. MAPS’ MDMA-based treatment for PTSD has generated positive clinical results for ~90% of those participating in the study.

Here the politics gets really simple.

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Disclosure: The writer holds shares in MindMed Inc, Numinus Wellness, Cybin Inc, and Mind Cure Health. Mind Cure Health is a client of Psychedelic Stock Watch.

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