WASHINGTON, D.C.– The US federal government has granted researchers studying the therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicine for the first time in 50 years.
Indeed, the NIH was a major funder of the early research that showed the promise of psychedelics for mental health decades ago — they once funded more than 130 studies just looking at LSD.
The US NIH (National Institutes of Health), last week, granted Johns Hopkins Medicine, with University of Alabama at Birmingham and New York University, $4 million to investigate if magic mushrooms can help people quit smoking.
“This is a huge step for really solidifying the science [behind psychedelic research],” said principal investigator Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University to Rolling Stone Magazine.
“NIH is the largest funder of biomedical research not just in the United States, but in the world and, in fact, the majority of the research upon which any pharmaceutical company is operating has been funded largely through NIH.”
When U.S. President Nixon, going against the science and his own Shafer Commission Report, signed the Controlled Substances Act into law in 1970, research into psychedelics as therapies ground to a halt. However, over the last couple of decades, Johns Hopkins University and others, increased their study of psilocybin for depression and anxiety in terminally ill patients.
Big Pharma don’t want to get involved in psilocybin as it already grows freely. That means they cannot make the blockbuster profits they from exclusive medicines like Prozac. Prozac made fortunes for Big Pharma. Big Pharma need fortunes to develop products too. The cost for developing a new drug in the U.S. is $985 million, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA.
The grant researchers received came specifically from a pool of money allocated by NIDA — the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which exists under the National Institutes of Health — for novel treatments for substance use.