The House of Representatives may vote before the end of the week to lift a longstanding legal barrier to scientific research into both marijuana and psychedelic drugs like ecstasy and magic mushrooms.
An amendment offered by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) would abolish a rider that’s been attached to federal spending bills since 1996 prohibiting federal spending on “any activity that promotes the legalization of any drug or other substance in Schedule I” of the Controlled Substances Act. In effect, the rider is a ban on all research into the benefits and risks of many recreational drugs, because any institution—like a university—that tried to research a Schedule I drug could lose its federal funding for unrelated projects.
“This bill is likely to encourage more government-funded and private research,” says Brad Burge, communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. “A big benefit will be the elimination of the stigma around that