Two lawmakers from South Florida have announced that they are making a new push to study psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms and ketamine in clinical settings to treat conditions like PTSD and depression.
Representative Michael Grieco and Senator Lauren Book filed bills directing the Department of Health to study psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA as treatments for mental health conditions.
The bills would require the DOH and the Board of Medicine to submit a report by Sept. 2023, comparing psychedelic therapy to traditional treatments already in use.
Dr. John Huber the Chief Executive Officer at TripSitter Clinic and a mental health professional of over 20 years, responded to a few question we posed about the filed legislation.
Firstly, your thoughts on the bill?
This bill is exceptional! It gives scientists the opportunity to study psychedelics, and it increases our knowledge of how these medicines can help mental health patients. We are bound to see more discoveries in the psychedelic field should it pass.
Have you been working with the representatives and/or any other parties to put the legislation together and we’d be especially interested to know if you have worked with any lawyers or law firms on the proposed legislation?
No, we haven’t although we do support Representative Michael Grieco and Minority Leader Senator Lauren Book in their attempts at getting these bills passed. We would be happy to assist if they were to ask.
Can you give us some of the details of the bill and who it will benefit in requesting that the Department of Health study psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA as treatments?
Are there specific demographics e.g.veterans or do you see that it is just time for relevant bodies to take these compounds more seriously and avenues for medical treatment?
The most important part of the bills is that they require the DOH and the Board of Medicine to submit a report by Sept. 2023, comparing psychedelic therapy to traditional treatments already in use.
People seeking treatment for mental health conditions are the ones most likely to benefit from the advances brought by the bill because they will have more alternatives for treatment.
My only concern, knowing the process of research, human subject committees, and research ethics, that Sept 2023 may not be enough time to fully vet the results.
As you know around the country some cities have begun decriminalizing psychedelic compounds for personal and religious use. Do you feel that Florida should be looking at these sorts of proposals too?
Should a future regulatory environment include personal as well as medical use?
We believe Florida should legalize psychedelics for medical use alongside allowing adults personal and religious use.
Do you see the regulation of psychedelics for uses other than pharmaceuticals developing in the same way that cannabis has over the last decade?
Definitely. As more research on psychedelics comes out and the general public is better educated, we believe governments- both state and federal- will enact similar legislation to what we’ve seen in the cannabis industry.
Other thoughts on where this is all going and will we be seeing by say 2025 a much more liberal understanding of these compounds in the wider population as we now see with cannabis
By 2025 we believe people will have a much better understanding of psychedelics.
Efforts by celebrities like Joe Rogan and organizations like Tripsitter Clinic have done a lot to bring psychedelics like MDMA into the public lexicon, and scientific research will continue to give people better insights into what these compounds can do for them.
We will be observing Florida closely because it has the opportunity to be a national leader in psychedelics. By fostering research Florida will demonstrate to the community at large that psychedelics when used appropriately can not only be safe but an important part of one’s mental health.