In a recent House Rules Committee assembly, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) supported alternative treatment research for military members in the 2023 defense bill.
Almost 1,200 filed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a dozen related to marijuana and psychedelics, have been presented to the committee.
Several of the major drug policy reforms have been cleared for votes on the House floor and are now set to be considered by the full chamber.
The measure introduced by Gaetz is based on an existing provision from Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) for research on marijuana as an alternative to opioids for military members with certain health conditions. This bill was already attached to the must-pass bill in the House Armed Services Committee, reported Marijuana Moment. Gaetz’s proposal is to expand the research to include psilocybin and MDMA.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently filed a nearly identical yet separate amendment to the NDAA as well, requiring the DOD to do research into psilocybin, MDMA and marijuana as alternatives to opioids for service members with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries or severe pain.
As Marijuana Moment reported, the Democratic-led measure was made in order to proceed, while its GOP counterpart was not.
On the other hand, the amendment Crenshaw presented would provide the secretary of defense the possibility of approving grants for research into the therapeutic power of a list of psychedelics (including MDMA, psilocybin, ibogaine & 5–MeO–DMT) for active duty service members suffering PTSD.
Crenshaw’s measure was first introduced in 2021 when the House Rules Committee didn’t order it for NDAA floor consideration. The text, which has not been modified seeks not to decriminalize psychedelics or give service members free hand to experiment with them, but to begin studying a new, potentially life-improving therapeutic option.
Besides the psychedelics amendments, other proposals have been approved and are set for full chamber consideration as well: VA home loan benefits for veterans using medical cannabis, allowing VA doctors to fill out recommendations for medical marijuana, protecting banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses, amongst others.
The fiscal year 2023 bill seems to hold interest in including cannabis & psychedelics policy in defense as have policy amendments proposed by Perlmutter (D-CO), Mace (R-SC), Clark (D-MA), Tlaib (D-MI), and Blumenauer (D-OR).