During his New Way Forward Iowa bus tour, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang stopped in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for a Moms for Yang event with his wife, Evelyn, and spoke to a veteran about his experiences taking two different antidepressants and an antipsychotic to deal with life after the military. During the talk — available on Facebook — the veteran revealed that both magic mushrooms and ayahuasca helped him through his struggles and asked Yang about his feelings on shamans and the benefits of psychedelics.
“You are not the first person who has told me about the fact that psilocybin mushrooms have enhanced their way of life and their well-being,” Yang began.
The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur noted that he recently heard from another military veteran who “passionately” argued that CBD oil “saved his life.”
“I’m for the total legalization of marijuana and cannabis, it shouldn’t be on the federal controlled substance list. And I’m very open to legalizing psilocybin mushrooms as well.”
Yang said that opiates are the most lethal drug in America and claimed that they kill eight Americans an hour. He claimed that such drugs are legal because Perdue Pharma was able to profit for about 30 billion dollars and only had to pay 635 million — only around 2 percent of 30 billion.
The presidential candidate then asked why less addictive drugs such as marijuana and mushrooms are criminalized while opiates are legal for profiteering and “essentially destroying lives.”
“I love the fact that native populations had to spend six months with a shaman,” Yang said, referring to the veteran’s comments, “and it did make me reflect like ‘who is the shaman in American life today?'”
Yang also said he would “love” to sponsor a pilot for the Department of Veterans Affairs that would act as a “reverse boot camp” with a modern shaman that was in service and helps veterans get stronger. He suggested that such an approach would be more effective than current solutions like antipsychotics.
Progressive firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez previously filed legislation to remove a legal barrier that scientists currently face when attempting to study psilocybin and MDMA for their health benefits. She noted the promise in early research from Johns Hopkins University for using magic mushrooms to treat veterans with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Ocasio-Cortez’s measure was rejected by the House of Representatives, per Marijuana Moment. Andy Harris, a Republican Maryland Representative — a longtime opponent of legalization that has said cannabis induces psychosis in young people and acts as a gateway drug — noted that the amendment wouldn’t help research. Harris also suggested that since magic mushrooms are a Schedule I drug, the matter should be dealt with through an authorizing committee.