MDMA is an illegal drug that, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, has no medical value and a high potential for abuse.
Yet MDMA — better known as ecstasy or molly — is being welcomed into a veterans administration hospital where it will be used to help combat veterans with PTSD.
How can that be?
As a practical matter, the research at a Bronx, NY, VA hospital has been permitted by the FDA, which, to its credit, continues to approve clinical trials to assess the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic medicines. Guided by science and not by the politics of the war on drugs, FDA regulators are increasingly aware of the potential of psychedelics; when accompanied by therapy, they appear to be able to help alleviate suffering from a range of mental disorders.
Specifically, this clinical trial took root at a meeting at Burning Man and was made possible by the philanthropy of two colorful billionaires. You can read more in my latest story at Medium.