Congressional Hearing on Psychedelics Comes Baked with Industry Bias Witnesses

Veterans Subcommittee Should Demand the Addiction-for-Profit Industry’s Testimony Brings True Scientific Perspective

WASHINGTON, DC) – Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions President Dr. Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy advisor to Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, released the following statement today in advance for the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health’s hearing on the use of psychedelics to combat veteran suicides:

“The government is days away from a potential shutdown. Across the globe, nations are engaged in armed conflicts with Americans being more and more drawn into the fray. Closer to home, our states are being ravaged by an opioid and fentanyl addiction crisis that’s claiming hundreds of lives every day. But in Washington, Congress is hearing about the ‘revolutionary’ benefits of another mind-altering drugs.

“What scandal-ridden groups like MAPS won’t tell members of Congress is that, according to respected researchers at Columbia University, ‘There are significant gaps in knowledge concerning safe hallucinogen use, and evidence for potential adverse effects even with professionally supervised use that warrant attention.’ They won’t point out that more than a third of psilocybin users rated the experience as one of ‘the top five most challenging experiences’ of their lives. 

“What members of Congress, especially those tasked with ensuring our heroes who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedom and our nation’s way of life, should be hearing is that research purporting benefits is incomplete and paint a mixed picture at best. Many of these studies also rely on patients who have already experimented with psychedelics, implying they had a positive experience and/or may have confirmation bias. And several big studies show that placebo faired just as well as the drugs.

“Instead of rolling out untested public policy based partly on the prospective of industry profiteers, we should allow science and the professionals at the FDA to guide medical policy. No one is against any medicine that shows scientific efficacy, and we support current FDA trials, but let’s not put the cart before the horse. We owe it to our heroes to get this right.”