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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry Supports Psychedelic Research For Vets At 'End Veteran Suicide' Event

Former GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry has now publicly come out in support of research into the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin and MDMA for military veterans suffering with PTSD.

At the “Strength in Numbers Gala to End Veteran Suicide,” Perry spoke about a young military veteran with PTSD who struggled to find adequate healthcare through the Veterans Administration, reports Marijuana Moment, saying, “it became abundantly clear to me that our government did a piss-poor job of taking care of veterans — that they didn’t understand how to help these young people.”

The move signals another seismic shift for the acceptance of psychedelic therapies in clinical settings as more Americans, and conservative political leaders, recognize the need for alternative therapies for people suffering with emotional issues, particularly veterans of war.

Perry was joined at the recent event by Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelics Studies (MAPS), as well as author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Ferriss, an outspoken advocate for psychedelic-assisted therapies. Ferriss’s charitable actions since 2019 have helped fundraise over $17 million to pay for the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, adding $2 million of his own money.  

With the country’s veteran suicide rates still skyrocketing to an estimated 17 suicides every day or more, according to recent statistics, a great deal of the progress vets are experiencing has been made through groups like Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS), whose mission is to end the suicide epidemic by providing resources, research and advocacy for U.S. military veterans seeking psychedelic-assisted therapies for traumatic brain injury, PTSD and addiction.

The change in heart by Perry is reminiscent of the adjustment in attitude made by former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who was once very publicly “unalterably opposed” to cannabis legalization but later recanted on his position, telling NPR, “I started to reach out to some of my friends, neighbors and others. And I thought, ‘You know, there’s more interest in this than I would have guessed.'”

Today, Boehner sits on the board of New York-based cannabis company Acreage Holdings (OTCQX:ACRDF).

Perry came out strong at the gala, saying the fight will need to be taken directly to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get the federal government to make psychedelic compounds available to vets for the treatment of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety and depression.

“You’re going to have to have a United States Congressman sitting in a committee grilling the VA chair, the VA head, the secretary of the VA, the bureaucrats that work there with the secretary of defense, understanding we’ve got to have this done,” said Perry.

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