A former Republican congressman has joined the board of a drug advocacy group working to reform federal policies around fungal plants and fungi such as psilocybin.
Former Representative Ryan Costello, who represented Pennsylvania in Congress from 2015 to 2019, is now part of the newly renamed Psychiatry Alliance (PMC), formerly the Plant Medicine Alliance.
In addition to the name change and new additions to the board of directors, PMC also announced Thursday that it will host its first annual roundtable on national drug policy on January 26. The event will bring together “researchers, practitioners, and policymakers working in the field of psychedelic medicine to shape the future of psychedelic policy in our nation’s capital,” according to a press release.
The news of Costello joining PMC’s board of directors is particularly interesting. But while it may surprise some that a former Republican congressman would be working on an issue more commonly associated with a progressive agenda, Costello has a record of championing drug policy reform, including while in office.
The congressman has co-sponsored a variety of marijuana-related bills—including those protecting states that legalize cannabis from federal interference—and supported several reform amendments on Capitol Hill.
It was also announced last summer that Costello had a Join multinational cannabis companies Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (RWB) in an advisory capacity. He’s not the first former member of Congress to enter the cannabis field, but he’s a rare example of someone who actually worked to advance the issue while in power before making that transition. Others, such as former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), opposed reform while in office before leaving and then joining the industry.
In any case, the announcement from the PMC indicates that the organization is preparing for an active year on the doping front.
“Our mission remains the same and is more important than ever: to create, protect and promote safe and equitable access to natural and synthetic narcotic and botanical medicines,” said Melissa Lavasani, founder and CEO of PMC.
“I felt this name change was necessary to reflect both the diverse alliance we have created over the past year and the leap in public awareness regarding the healing potential of narcotic and botanical medicines,” said Melissa Lavasani, Founder and CEO. pic.twitter.com/1uOenuJ4Wx
Psychiatric Consortium (PMCinDC) January 6 2022
She said the group’s name change “was necessary in order to properly reflect the diverse alliance we have built over the past year, as well as a leap in public awareness regarding the curing potential of psychedelic drugs.”
“We continue to educate Congress and the administration as we struggle to fund drug and plant drug research,” Lavasany said.
In addition to Costello, PMC has announced that Tom Zuber of Zuber Lawler and Joe Moore of Psychedelics Today will also join its board of directors.
PMC has also appointed founding board members including CEO Dr. Brunner and activist David Brunner, Microdose CEO Patrick Moher, Nushama Director of Strategy Julia Merer, CEO of Green Horizon Los Arias and Pure Vitality Center owner Kelly Bender.
PMC –Founded by the head of the DC campaign who – which I got incriminated drug passed locally In the 2020 election – it also announced late last year that it did. It issued about $50,000 in its first round of grants To various community groups to support efforts to educate and organize people about plant medicine.
While Congress has yet to end the marijuana ban, drug reform is gradually gaining attention in the nation’s capital.
For example, a member of Congress recently began asking fellow lawmakers to join him in the DEA’s claim. Allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin As investigative therapy without fear of federal prosecution.
A dear fellow letter circulated by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) notes that state and federal right-to-try (RTT) laws should make it so that some patients can get the drug since it shows early potential in ongoing clinical trials.
However, the DEA denied access, Resulting in a lawsuit filed in March by a Washington state physician who requested federal guidelines for treating patients with psilocybin mushrooms and was told there was no legal way to do so.
The lawsuit against the DEA is currently before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which heard oral arguments in the case in September. Washington State Attorney’s Office Join the plaintiffs to support psilocybin’s access. The DEA argued that the court should dismiss the lawsuit because it lacked jurisdiction.
Blumenauer separately told Marijuana Moment last month that he was “excited” about advances in psychedelic drug research, as well as implementing a psilocybin treatment program being set up in his home state of Oregon, Where voters approved the historic reform during last year’s elections.
Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate also introduced legislation late last month that would make that legislation It makes it easier for scientists to search for Schedule I drugs Such as marijuana and psilocybin.
The DEA has repeatedly suggested significant increases in the production of marijuana, psilocybin, and other drugs for research purposes, with the intent of assisting in the development of new federally approved therapeutic drugs.
NIDA Director Nora Volkow told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that she was encouraged by an increase in drug production quotas previously proposed by the DEA. She also said that studies demonstrating the drug’s therapeutic benefits could be Pushing more people to try substances like psilocybin.
Image courtesy of Dick Colbert.