A nonprofit in California has started a major signature campaign for a November 2024 ballot measure that aims to raise $5bn to fund clinical research on psychedelic-assisted treatments for veterans and first responders.

If it gets the adequate support, the ballot measure will approve $5bn in funds for clinical research on psychedelic-assisted therapies. TREAT California, the entity leading the efforts, plans to collect 1.4 million signatures. The organisation aspires to follow the success of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which funded stem cell research in the early 2000s. Thus, TREAT California plans to become a state agency that can obtain US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals and training models necessary to integrate psychedelic-assisted therapies safely into mental healthcare regimens. The agency does not plan to legalise or decriminalise any drugs.

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This interest in psychedelic research comes at a time when the pharmaceutical industry has slowly adapted to the clinical study of psychedelics with the FDA releasing its first draft guidance for the drug class in June 2023.

In a 5 October press release, TREAT California’s CEO, Dr. Jeannie Fontana PhD said, “It’s clear we are in a mental healthcare crisis, as conventional therapies too often fail to offer relief for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, and depression, and the effects are simply catastrophic.”

The organisation highlighted the potential of MDMA-assisted therapy, referring to a randomised 2021 Phase III trial (NCT03537014), which found the treatment approach effective in individuals with severe PTSD.

This content was updated on 25 January 2024