LETTER: Galesburg should decriminalize psychedelic drugs – Galesburg Register-Mail

Letters to the editor

Editor, Register-Mail: A friend alerted me to an article in the New York Times: “Veterans Have Become Unlikely Lobbyists in Push to Legalize Psychedelic Drugs.” It says that “Lawmakers find it hard to ‘just say no’ to combat veterans seeking support for drug decriminalization efforts gaining traction around the country.”

Jose Martinez is a former Army gunner whose right arm and both legs were blown off by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Connie Leyva is a Democratic legislator in California, who has opposed relaxing drug laws. On a Zoom call this spring, Mr. Martinez told her how the psilocybin from “magic” mushrooms had finally helped to quell the physical pain and suicidal thoughts that had tormented him. Ms. Leyva later voted yes on the bill, and California is expected to legalize psychedelics early next year.

HHP, the Heroic Hearts Project, was started by former Army Ranger Jesse Gould. It’s an organization that connects veterans to psychedelic therapies available in Latin America. Gould gets emails daily from veterans seeking this help. Some 850 of them are waiting for a treatment slot. Gould said that the healthcare system has failed us, so veterans have to seek care outside the country. “We can either decide to call these veterans criminals, which is what we do now, or we can make sure they get the effective care here at home.”

Galesburg should become the ninth city in America to decriminalize psychedelics, that is, to make having and using psychedelic drugs, which are more safe than marijuana, lowest on the list to arrest and prosecute for.  — Jerry Ryberg, Galesburg

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