President Joe Biden is reportedly keeping an open mind about legal psychedelic therapy, according to one of his closest family members.
Frank Biden, the president's younger brother, shared this promising news during a brief interview with “The Michael Smerconish Program” on SiriusXM. The younger Biden called in to the show earlier this week to respond to a recent segment on psychedelics and microdosing. He told Smerconish that he has recently been researching psychedelic therapy to gain further insight into his own personal struggles with alcohol addiction.
“There’s lots of empirical evidence around it—that trauma is the root cause of all addiction,” Biden explained, according to Marijuana Moment. “With that said, let’s differentiate between recreational anything and using medicine. And the psychedelic can be considered a medicine.”
Researchers have been studying the medicinal use of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin since the 1950s, but this research was soon stamped out by the federal War on Drugs. Biden acknowledged that these powerful medicines still carry a negative stigma “because of an innate prejudice that has been foisted upon us” by the federal government, starting with the Nixon administration and carrying through until recently.
That stigma has finally started to fade at last, though. In recent years, researchers have released hundreds of new studies on psychedelics, proving that these illegal compounds can treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues far more effectively than traditional methods. This research has been so promising that the FDA is seriously considering legalizing both MDMA- and psilocybin-assisted therapy, possibly as soon as this year.
President Biden has yet to publicly state whether or not he would support federal psychedelic legalization, but his brother suggested that he may be open to reform. When asked whether he had “ever shared with your brother what you’ve just shared with my audience,” the younger Biden said that he had indeed had “brother-to-brother” conversations about it. And even more notably, he said that the president “is very open-minded” about the promise of psychedelic medicine.
But sadly, the president still doesn't seem to have an open mind when it comes to weed. Biden has gone on record to oppose Congress' recent efforts to federally decriminalize cannabis. The president has spoken out against incarcerating Americans for minor weed crimes, at least, and he has made a few very minor efforts to free federal pot prisoners. The White House is also conducting an administrative review to reconsider scheduling cannabis as one of the most dangerous drugs in the country, but it remains to be seen how this review will pan out.