Not long after the city of Denver decriminalized so-called "magic mushrooms," the push to explore the medicinal uses of one of the west's most popular psychedelics has transformed into a full-blown movement. And who better to lead it than a certain Congresswoman from New York City?
According to Fox News, AOC filed legislation on Friday to make it easier for researchers to study the therapeutic and medical benefits of certain psychedelic drugs.
Filed as part of a rider to a large-scale appropriations bill, AOC's provision seeks to end the ban on federal money being spent on "any activity that promotes the legalization of any drug or other substance in Schedule I" of the Controlled Substances Act.
"Academics and scientists report that provisions like this create [stigma] and insurmountable logistical hurdles to researching Schedule I drugs," her summary states.
Last October, an analysis published by the journal Neuropharmacology recommended that psilocybin - the scientific name for the magic mushrooms - be reclassified for medical use, arguing that the benefits in helping treat PTSD, depression and anxiety and helping people stop smoking.
After Oakland City Council last Tuesday passed a resolution to decriminalize the mushrooms, advocates have been out in full force making the case for full-on legalization.
"Entheogenic plants and fungi are tremendous for helping to enable healing, particularly for folks who have experienced trauma in their lives," Carlos Plazola, chair of the advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Oakland, said before the council meeting. "These plants are being recommended pretty extensively undercover, underground, by doctors and therapists."
Another amendment to the appropriations bill, filed by Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., would stop the Department of Education from withholding federal funding to any university or college that permits the use or possession of medical marijuana in states where it has been legalized.
While it's unclear whether either of these two riders will clear the Democratically-controlled House, the Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern has often criticized Republican efforts to block other marijuana-related measures.