Psychedelics, marijuana and CBD all moved one step closer towards some kind of federal acceptance this week, when a House committee approved several amendments to a “minibus” spending bill. If voted through, it could mean things are about to get weird here in America. It could mean that finally real academic research could be done on to untap the potential of some of our most illegal drugs.

Hopefully, that is.

The four added amendments were sponsored by four different representatives, from both sides of the aisle.

The first, and perhaps most notable amendment the Rules Committee made, was sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). It would allow researchers in the United States to start studying and exploring the uses, effects and impacts of drugs like cannabis, psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine — drugs that have been shown to have functional uses treating critical diseases, but that remain illegal to obtain or use in a clinical or academic setting.  

Another amendment, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) would provide funding for the Food and Drug Administration to get a move on with their rulemaking on cannabidiol. The amendment would give them 180 days to come up with something, to get them to stop dragging their feet and clear the path for CBD to become a legal dietary supplement.

There are two other amendments, both sponsored by Republicans, that actually counterbalance the progressive nature of the other two amendments. The first, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) would prohibit any university or federally funded institution to receive federal funding if they conduct research on cannabis. Which is about as dumb as it is counter-productive — baselessly disincentivizing research on cannabis by threatening to pull federal funding, is about as oily and suspicious as tobacco companies paying doctors to promote cigarettes.

The second Republican sponsored amendment, however, is actually a productive and useful one. Sponsored by Doug LaMalfa (D-CA) it would provide $25 million to the National Forest System to weed out illegal marijuana trespass grow sites on federal lands, and pay for restoration efforts.

These (as well as many other amendments) were recommended for inclusion in an appropriations “minibus” bill for fiscal year 2022. The minibus would fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Agriculture, Rural Development, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development. There’s a number of languages changes a that would also affect cannabis as well.

Congress is expected to vote on this minibus this week. But regardless of if it passes in its current form, or even if these cannabis and psychedelic amendments even stay attached — this is a progressive step in the War Against the War on Drugs. As soon as these things start getting introduced to congress, and voted on by representatives, it’s only a matter of time before they eventually start moving.

It’s all about the baby steps.