Pusher politics: Democrats in House, Senate want psychedelic drugs for mentally ill Alaskans

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In spite of recent research that shows today’s cannabis and mushroom use is leading to psychotic episodes, Anchorage Democrat Sen. Forrest Dunbar and Democrat Rep. Jennie Armstrong believe that drugs like psilocybin and LSD should be used to treat mental health. Neither are health professionals or have any credentials that would lend credence to their claims. Both are freshmen legislators, and Dunbar is powerful in the Senate as a member of the Democrat-dominated majority and chair of the Community and Regional Affairs Committee, while Armstrong is in the House minority but is part of the “Freshmen Caucus,” which is trying to undermine Republican House Speaker Cathy Tilton.

The two Anchorage Democrats introduced companion legislation to establish an “Alaska Mental Health and Psychedelic Medicine Task Force” to address Alaska‘s “ongoing mental health crisis.”

The task force would have a membership consisting of politically appointed commissioners (or their designee) from the Departments of Health, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Commerce Community and Economic Development, specialists from the mental health community, advocates from domestic violence and sexual assault survivor organizations, representatives from the Alaska Native health community, and state lawmakers. The body would be joined by “psychedelic healthcare professionals.” Members would be paid per diem and travel expenses for their meetings from the state budget.

The task force would focus on four main goals: “Assess the potential role of psychedelic medicine in mental health treatment, identify barriers to implementation and equitable access, formulate licensing and insurance requirements for healthcare practitioners, and explore legal and regulatory frameworks for the legalization and public health implications of psychedelic medicines.”

“We have an ongoing mental health crisis in Alaska from the highest rates of domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, military suicides, and homelessness. There have been numerous positive outcomes with the controlled use of psychedelics throughout the nation, and it is time to explore all the tools in the toolbox if we want to resolve many of the mental health issues Alaskans face daily,” said Sen. Dunbar. “As we shift our thinking and approach to mental health treatment, Alaska can be at the forefront of new treatment options and improve the quality of life for those suffering through mental health dilemmas and their families.”

In October, an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot who was sitting in a jump seat tried to open an exit while a flight was airborne. Later it was determined that the man had been using psychedelic mushrooms in days leading up to the fight, although not on the day of the flight.

Studies also show that frequent use of marijuana can lead to psychotic episodes. Marijuana was made largely legal in Alaska after voters passed Ballot Measure in 2014; mental health in the state has deteriorated since it went into effect in 2015, some Alaskans have pointed out.

The National Institutes of Health reports, “There is now reasonable evidence from longitudinal studies that regular cannabis use predicts an increased risk of schizophrenia.” How these mental health issues would be treated with psychedelics is a new frontier for a state that already has significant drug-abuse problems.

But Dunbar and Armstrong say that clinical research for therapeutic uses of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA for anxiety, addiction, and PTSD have shown positive outcomes “with limited adverse effects, leading toward advanced medical education, research, and public policy.”

It’s full speed ahead for Dunbar and Armstrong. SB 166 and HB 228. They argue that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs funds research on psychedelics, such as MDMA and psilocybin, for treating PTSD and depression in veterans. Taxpayers are paying for this research.

“The move follows the Federal Drug Administration’s breakthrough status, allowing accelerated clinical trials, in turn piquing interest from veterans, researchers, and lawmakers,” according to Dunbar.

The proposed task force would be required to meet at least four times in 2024 and submit a detailed findings and recommendations report to the legislature and the governor by Dec. 31, 2024. The Legislature convenes on Tuesday, at which time pre-filed bills such as SB 166 and HB 228 will be assigned to committees.

46 COMMENTS

  1. History is abundantly clear on this front.
    Tyrants and dictators will always push legalization of drugs, while simultaneously trying to ban private ownership of weapons.
    .
    It is because the first is a way for the government to control the population.
    The second is a way for the people to control the government.

  2. Why not? Let’s cut out the middle man and include them as part of a school lunch.

    Tell me again this is a conservative state.

  3. To a small degree I sorta support this. I’m in favor of allowing physicians latitude to diagnose meds for patients as they deem medically appropriate.

    If only Dunbar and co had supported this during the Covid fraud.

  4. The same people pushing narratives such as these are the same people who called mental institutions inhumane and are the same people who belong in such institutions today. Let’s make mental institutions popular again so we can get this country back on track once again !

  5. “Maybe THEY should be treated with mental health” my 10 year old’s response. It was good. See she smarter than I am. Gets right to the point.
    Because my response was Omigosh as I was reading the opener.
    Then I further think with concern
    I wonder who DO Jennie and Forrest run around with? Friends of friends doing such drugs for what they call “medical” would be sympathetic thinking they are helping an addict have access to what really is harming them. That’s just how friends and close family members initially react when they see a friend or adult child struggling , they don’t want to add hardship on them first, they want to make things easier for them out of sympathy for their pain.

    Drugs are bad for you.

  6. This is the most assinine form of therapy that can be administered to a mental health patient. A high percentage of mentally ill patients can trace their illness to overuse of psychodelic drugs, including THC, which is the trigger ingredient in marijuana. This is like treating obesity with chocolate cake, Coca cola and Snickers.
    The proponents of this idea need to come and schedule an appointment with me. My office opens at 8:00 am and I can help them overcome their own mental illness(es).

    • Doc,
      Not sure there’s a therapeutical cure for Trump Derangement Syndrome. Maybe 3 or 4 more vaxx shots until death?

    • Doctor, can we just send all of the Senate Dems and RINOs to your office for evaluation? Shouldn’t take long.

  7. If the government is giving away the free drugs with our money, maybe they can eliminate the fentanyl damage. Free everything except the the ability to make positive changes. Magic pills should work like they did in the 1960s. What will we call the next generation? Space cadets?

  8. I’m confused: we don’t have a mental health center/treatment facility in the state. Who is going to treat them where?

    • Maybe I am missing something in your statement. There’s Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API). Providence and the Mat-Su have psych (mental health) departments – not sure if the other hospitals have psych wards. Aren’t there also some smaller private (?) institutions, such as North Star?

  9. I’m surprised that those who touted using ivermectin to treat covid aren’t also supporting this alternative treatment that big pharma is very obviously against.

    • You are STILL desperately trying to defend the failed and discredited establishment narratives surrounding the Wuhan Virus, Steve, including the LIE that ivermectin was not a useful and fairly effective early treatment? REALLY?

      • Jeff,
        I’m still waiting for you to provide any actual information to support the use of ivermectin in the treatment of covid, it’s been years and, as per usually, you’ve failed to bring any information to support your beliefs.

        I’m not sure why would you instantly be against using psychedelics to treat other conditions when there are actual studies that support their use, but so quick to support the off label use of medication made by big pharma. I thought you were against big pharma, big pharma is the only reason the promising clinical trials of psychedelics was shutdown years and years ago.

        I can share some documentaries and studies with you if you are willing to try and understand a viewpoint that might dare challenge your inner monologues…but we both know you’re not up to the challenge. There’s a big difference between the limited and clinical therapeutic use of psychedelics and a pilot getting zonked out of his brains and trying to crash a plane. It’s like the difference between a guy getting ivermectin from the local farm supply and getting it from a nurse. If you want to keep supporting big pharma, you do you.

        • Steve, that was a whole lot of word salad saying exactly nothing.

          And it is YOU who is supporting ‘big pharma’, and the entire political-medical-industrial complex, by implicitly and explicitly defending the failed Wuhan Virus mRNA non-vaccines.

          Your wild mental contortions, evasions and obfuscations on this subject are quite interesting to read.

          • Jeff,
            At one point in time I thought you a person capable of subjective thought, that was a long time ago. At this point you simply repeat the exact same words regardless of the topic at hand. You aren’t even in the same talking space, you aren’t even on the same subject matter, your programming has failed, you are obsolete.

            Good day to you sir.

    • I am sorry Steve-O that you have so little discernment.
      Just because one might consider one drug (which is approved by the FDA and has a long track record) doesn’t mean one accepts ALL. Judgement on a case-by-case basis is essential to making good choices for your situation. LSD has no discernible benefit in my opinion and leads to poor mental health outcomes in many cases.
      Rejecting/accepting drugs simply because “Big Pharma” doesn’t like them, is NOT a viable reason to make decisions. It speaks of knee-jerk judgement lacking any real facts.
      It is interesting that you have declared yourself the end-all-be-all authority on Ivermectin. If you do not think it is beneficial ignore it. However you should grant that in a free society others make other choices for their lives and have to live with the consequence. Your insecurity of needing all to do as you do, to validate your choice is kind of pathetic.

      • Taxpayer,
        I’d be interested to know when it was I declared myself “the end-all-be-all authority on Ivermectin”, because that never happened. The only studies that I’ve ever seen were outright fabrications or showed little if any correlation, most showed mixed results. The simple fact of the matter is that the majority of people who believe ivermectin treats covid believe the falsified results that were subsequently removed and the people who published those results were completely discredited. I searched and searched, I asked repeatedly for anyone to provide any actual information on the subject, not anecdotal evidence but actual studies that weren’t outright fabrications…I’m still waiting, maybe you have that information and are willing to share it?

        Sadly in our modern world people believe what they believe regardless of facts, even in the face of facts that prove they are wrong. Had you spent anytime whatsoever reading and understanding (something Jeff here never does) what I wrote on the subject during the time you would know that I have always, and continue to, supported the right of the individual to make informed decisions…the current topic being case in point. I do not now, nor have I ever needed all to do as I do to validate my choices. That comes from the extremists on both sides who are wholly incapable of having a discussion let alone the ability to provide any information to support their beliefs.

        • Respectfully Steve-O, you set yourself up with your original comment. Your implication that those, who showed interest in Ivermectin should also embrace LSD and the like, is simply ridiculous and condescending. The debate whether Ivermectin does anything for Covid or not is completely besides the point.
          The point of discussion is whether or not psychedelic drugs are an appropriate treatment for mental health issues and if the state should grant permission for their use. In my opinion Mr. Dunbar and Mrs. Armstrong have no business telling medical professionals, what the best course of treatment for mental health patients should be. Especially in light of the FDA just recently starting to reconsider issuing guidelines for drug trials with LSD, after placing them on hold. The trial to my understanding is for a very narrow set of symptoms related to anxiety disorders.

          • Taxpayer,
            Please note, that I haven’t addressed the bill that Senator Dunbar or Representative Armstrong are bringing forth and how they may or may not be telling medical professionals what the best course of treatment is. I haven’t read their bill and likely won’t unless there is some reason to. As you mentioned, these drugs are once again being studied for their potential in treatment.

            In my comments I was simply drawing the comparison between how different drugs are treated by different groups of people, and yes there is a similarity in the situation. You’ve said that in your opinion “LSD has no discernible benefit”, that’s fine you are certainly entitled to your opinion. However there are people who believe the same exact thing about ivermectin and covid, personally from the studies I’ve read that seems to be the case, once again I ask do you have any studies that support that it does work? If you think it works that’s fine, as you’ve said “in a free society others make other choices for their lives and have to live with the consequence.” If you support that line of thought for the use of ivermectin in the treatment of covid, why would you not support it for psychedelics? Because some people abuse the drug, I’m pretty sure there were a few people who abused ivermectin as well by taking too high a dosage should everyone be banned from making their own choices because a few people made bad decisions and abused a drug?

          • Steve-o sorry Ivermectin and LSD are not comparable. Yours is a flawed apples-to-oranges claim. Demanding that people treat and assess them equally is silly.
            Ivermectin is a FDA approved drug with a long and reliable track record. It is legal to prescribe by a medical professional for certain ailments. It is not classified as a scheduled narcotic. Your objection is to the “off-label” use of an approved drug. That’s your opinion. Some medical professionals disagree.
            LSD on the other hand is an illegal substance without FDA approval for use in patient care. There is no “off-label” use for LSD. Trade or consumption can end with a criminal conviction. I do not advocate for people to break the law and therefore the “let others make different choices” does not apply. Should the law change and LSD etc. becomes a legal FDA approved medication, we can have another discussion, about individuals choosing this drug for their mental health.

          • So much for that free society where others are free to make other choices for their lives and have to live with the consequence…

          • Steve-O, cute!
            Especially coming from you, who harangues everyone for not following the edicts of Mr. Science Fauci et al. It is further hypocrisy on your part, to claim to stand for INDIVIDUAL choice, while vehemently lambasting and ridiculing all who tried Ivermectin, a LEGAL substance.
            I get that you clearly are not interested in the current topic, but simply abuse it to get back on your soap box, to make sure ALL know how wrong they supposedly are.
            Don’t think Ivermectin works to mitigate symptoms or suppress a cytokine storm? Okay don’t take it. I respect that decision. It is your body after all. It would just be nice if you would show the same courtesy to others.
            The very basic issue many had with the government approach to covid was the “our way or the highway” mandates, instead of a collaborative effort to explore all avenues, medications and treatments to find a remedy or a treatment mitigating the symptoms. Instead it was shots, masks and distancing or die and all other potential options got demonized and silenced. They even denied natural immunity exists.
            It is now coming to light that Mr. Science Fauci pulled the 6 feet rule out of thin air and NIH states that the lock-downs were counterproductive and the wrong move.
            In a free society individuals are able to make choices that work for their lives within the confines of law & order as established by their representatives. We as a society have clearly established that some compounds do not serve a legitimate purpose and are therefore declared illegal.
            You are an adult and if you chose to abuse an illegal substance that is your choice, but I will not aid you in your destructive behavior. If you ask me to help you kick the habit however, I will do my utmost to support you.

          • I’ve always been enthralled with absolutists, especially those who absolutely believe something but don’t have anyway to support their beliefs. Absolutists are found on the extremes and are frequently called extremists. The majority of any given population aren’t absolutists or extremists, but fall somewhere in the middle on virtually every issue imaginable.

            You claim that I’ve harangued “everyone for not following the edicts of Mr. Science Fauci et al” this is demonstrably false, laughably so. I’ve questioned everything I possibly could regarding covid, I’ve made it clear that an individual should make informed decisions for themselves. I’ve never supported a mask mandate or a vaccine mandate, while some absolutist commentators here believe differently without so much as a shred of proof, they have repeatedly been proven wrong and continue to outright lie…because facts scare them. People who challenge the narrative scare them. Absolutists, like yourself, demand that all comply with their chosen beliefs…not unlike how the absolutists on the other side of the issue demand that all people must wear masks and be vaccinated. I’ve never harangued anyone for not following the edicts of Mr. Science Fauci, all I’ve ever done is ask questions and share information, but asking questions and sharing information isn’t allowed in the world of extremists, because challenges to the narrative must be stopped! This is true of both extremes of the covid issue, I know because I’ve caught flack from both extremes.

            I’m not surprised that someone who is incapable of making a sound argument that ivermectin works in the treatment for covid would outright dismiss the documentation that psychedelics have been shown to treat psychological issues, it doesn’t fit the narrative that you’ve decided to push. Obviously there are many parallels with the usage of ivermectin to treat covid and psychedelics to treat psychological issues, up to and including the intertwining of big pharma.

            You disagree and that’s fine but it doesn’t change the facts.

          • Steve-O, you erroneously assume that I am on the Ivermectin acceptance train. That is incorrect. I support an individual’s “right to try” and the burden of research lies with the patient and their physician.
            I object to Forrest Dunbar and company attempting an end-run around the law, forcing the state (and therefore all of us) to be party to experimentally dispensing an illegal substance without any kind of research background.
            That is different than Ivermectin with a long and proven track record and a known and predictable mechanism of interaction.
            In the end you and I agree that research and track record for a medication are important. I know that many times an “off-label” use of a already approved drug has moved medicine forward and it is generally a accepted practice.
            LSD et al does have neither and is not an accepted medication, but a recreational drug. If it turns out during drug trials that it has valuable properties for mental health treatment more power to it, but at this time I think the legislation is premature.

          • Taxpayer,
            There are many studies out there regarding the use of psychedelics in the treatment of various mental health issues. Studies date back to the 1950’s.

            Here’s a few articles on the subject:
            “Plant-based psychedelics, such as psilocybin, have an ancient history of medicinal use. After the first English language report on LSD in 1950, psychedelics enjoyed a short-lived relationship with psychology and psychiatry. Used most notably as aids to psychotherapy for the treatment of mood disorders and alcohol dependence, drugs such as LSD showed initial therapeutic promise before prohibitive legislature in the mid-1960s effectively ended all major psychedelic research programs. Since the early 1990s, there has been a steady revival of human psychedelic research: last year saw reports on the first modern brain imaging study with LSD and three separate clinical trials of psilocybin for depressive symptoms. In this circumspective piece, RLC-H and GMG share their opinions on the promises and pitfalls of renewed psychedelic research, with a focus on the development of psilocybin as a treatment for depression.”
            ‘https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5603818/’

            “A revamped interest in the study of hallucinogens has recently emerged, especially with regard to their potential application in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. In the last decade, a plethora of preclinical and clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of ketamine in the treatment of depression. More recently, emerging evidence has pointed out the potential therapeutic properties of psilocybin and LSD, as well as their ability to modulate functional brain connectivity. Moreover, MDMA, a compound belonging to the family of entactogens, has been demonstrated to be useful to treat post-traumatic stress disorders. In this review, the pharmacology of hallucinogenic compounds is summarized by underscoring the differences between psychedelic and nonpsychedelic hallucinogens as well as entactogens, and their behavioral effects in both animals and humans are described. Together, these data substantiate the potentials of these compounds in treating mental diseases.”
            ‘https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7880300/’

        • Steve O, Africa, and Uttar Predesh a state in India might be worth perusal.
          You see Steve, ivermectin is a staple in regions of Africa, turns out these undeveloped S- Hole countries had miniscule covid cases. Weird huh..

          I personally handed out Ivermectin to many back in the dark days of the SCAMDEMIC, guess what Steve, 24 hours after the first dose these folks felt much better.

          But then who are you gonna believe?
          Pharma Whores like Fauci or your lying eyes?

          • I’ve read about Africa and India regarding ivermectin and covid. What seems to be forgotten is that covid overwhelmingly affected the elderly, the morbidly obese, and those otherwise physically unfit. Africa and India aren’t know for having large quantities of those groups, the average age of many of those places is less than half of ours. Morbidly obese people aren’t a thing in those places and most younger people are physically fit, that isn’t something you can say about a large percentage of our young, or even older, people.

            As far as the anecdotal evidence you’ve provided, I’m glad that it’s enough for you to believe ivermectin works in treating covid. I’m a skeptic by nature and need something a little more concrete, the studies that I’ve seen do not support the anecdotal accounts I’ve seen. There is, however, more than just anecdotal evidence that psychedelics used in the proper manner can and do have long term positive outcomes for a range of people suffering various psychological issues.

    • I think what is getting lost in translation here is there was enough support within the medical community that Ivermectin might help. Ivermectin has a history of effective treatment regimes for things besides deworming farm animals.

      I support Trumps “right to try” concept. It’s a patient’s body and life.

      The concerns I have regarding this issue are far less the probably dubious concept than the motives of the slimy toad pushing it.

      Far as I know, there isn’t a history of abusing Ivermectin for recreational purposes. Psychedelics, on the other hand, have a track record of serious abuse.

      More, there isn’t (at least now) a strong street “aftermarket” for Ivermectin. Not sure it’s a big party drug. LSD, on the other hand, is.

      The devil is really deep in the details here.

  10. Someone who may have emerging organic schizophrenia does not need to take street hallucinogens. Not best medical practice. Bad idea. How cruel. We must shun those of unsound mind in Juneau State Government. .

  11. Maybe this has already been done but maybe Senator Forrest could ingest a bunch of the special mushrooms and give us a full report. Seems to me that to best advocate for the use of mushrooms by others would be to a have a real, thorough and personal understanding first. Please enlighten us, Senator Forrest.

  12. It’s all part of the Left Fork agenda to gain acceptance. Remember when only medical marijuana was legal? Now the pot shops selling very potent stuff are everywhere.

  13. Magic mushrooms are being discussed as a way to treat PTSD. Advocates and users claim that they are single use drugs, in other words, you only have to take them once.

    Must be something to them as Big Pharma is busily trying to replicate the active ingredient of Magic Mushrooms to not work very well. The reason for it not to work very well is to ensure a continuing need for the new prescription, yet another revenue stream.

    Is a sadness that a couple of the more despicable legislatures are fully onboard with this, yet another example of a stopped clock being right twice a day. Cheers –

  14. Wow another satanic agenda by WEF and the upside down world
    Crazy
    Trying to invert and convert the whole world

  15. Oh this is an easy one.
    Jenny and Forrest do not care one wit about improving the mental health of anyone. This is clearly a ploy to legalize LSD etc. and to force Medicaid to pay for the drugs.
    The side benefit, this keeps people dependent on the state for their next fix, creating a loyal voter base.

    • A Taxpayer, it’s been close to 50 years since I ” experimented” with L.S.D. or Acid, and I am not an expert however let me clear up some misconceptions for you.
      First off Acid is not addictive. It’s very inexpensive to produce and back in the day a double hit of windowpane ( which could keep you stoned for12 hours)could be had for less than 3 bucks. The profit incentive for dope dealers just wasn’t there, probably still isn’t.
      However if Pfizer gets licensed to sell it through a Government Program? Well hell, the profits could very well be enormous!
      Just think what the same people who brought you the safe and 97.5% effective m-RNA scam could do with an old repurposed Timothy Leary drug!

      • Robert, thank you for your insight. Having no personal experience, I rely on reading reports and it seems physical withdrawal isn’t the same as other narcotics. However the hallucinogenic effects can alter behavior and create “craving” to reach similar levels to a physical addiction.
        I agree that the pharma industry would love to have another revenue stream with government paying the bill. Keeping everyone in the “oh yeah man all is groovy” state of mind will make governing so much easier too!

  16. Research this and u end up at Davos Switzerland at a WEF conference on how to take the US
    The upside down world in action

  17. One thing the chemically dependent need is another chemical to be dependent on. I’m guessing that this service will be paid for with state funds, meaning smaller dividends for the residents because the government can’t afford to pay for all the services that they provide now, Cripes.

  18. There indeed is research showing that certain psychedelics, under controlled conditions and as part of an organized mental health treatment program, can be helpful for some people. That does NOT mean that they should be used indiscriminately, or by everyone. It is also true that cannabis is associated with with increases in mental illness, as well as lung cancer and other serious ailments

  19. You are much more easily controled if you are high as a kite and picking bugs off the wall, floor or bedding gives you something to do to keep you out of everyone’s hair.

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