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Top VA Official Says Psychedelics Have “Surpassed” Marijuana In Bipartisan Acceptance In Congress

A top official with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says there’s an “unstoppable narrative” in support of advancing psychedelic medicine, with a combination of compelling personal stories of recovery and robust clinical data from studies he’s hoping to expand upon. He also said bipartisan acceptance of psychedelics has “surpassed” that of marijuana in Congress.

At a psychedelics conference organized by Horizons on Friday, VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal also discussed his efforts to position the department to provide psychedelics-assisted therapy “the moment it’s approved” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adding that he’s anticipating “overwhelming demand” from veterans.

“What we need to do for our scientific community, especially within the VA, is prove the case further,” he said, pointing out that the department is actively supporting trials into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and MDMA. “We want to expand that further and prove the case for veterans.”

Elnahal also acknowledged that some scientists feel the treatment option should be made more immediately available, and so VA has taken into account the “ethics of not doing this and how that might be an ethically problematic scenario” given the promise these substances have already been found to

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