By Nick Giambruno, chief analyst, Crisis Investing
Suicide has killed more US soldiers than actual combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam… combined.
Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide.
It’s a tragedy that’s hard for a lot of people to understand.
Unlike physical wounds, which can heal over time, psychological and spiritual wounds don’t necessarily go away.
Of the over 2.7 million soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, around 20% have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That’s more than 540,000 people.
There is a lot of confusion about PTSD. Part of the reason is in the term itself. It’s sterile, not descriptive, and detached from humanity.
Here is how George Carlin described it. Though he was a legendary comedian, and this is a deadly serious topic, his take is still spot on.
I don’t like words that hide the truth. I don’t like words that conceal reality. I don’t like euphemisms or euphemistic language and American English is loaded with euphemisms ’cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality.
Americans have trouble facing the truth. So they invent the kind of a soft language to protect themselves from it. And it gets worse with every generation. For some reason, it just keeps getting worse.
I’ll give you an example of that. There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak and maximum – can’t take any more input. The nervous system has either snapped or is about to snap.
In the first World War, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables. Shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves.
Then a whole generation went by, and the second World War came along. And the very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say, doesn’t seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock, shell shock. Battle fatigue.
Then we had the war in Korea in 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that time. And the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, we’re up to eight syllables now. And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It’s totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car.
Then, of course, came the war in Vietnam… And thanks to the lies and deceit surrounding that war, I guess it’s no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we’ve added a hyphen. And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder.
I’ll bet you if we’d have still been calling it shell shock, some of those Vietnam veterans might’ve gotten the attention they needed at the time.
When doctors diagnose a veteran with PTSD, it’s not uncommon for them to prescribe a cocktail of dangerous pharmaceuticals.
One veteran recalled taking over 90 different prescription drugs.
For many, the prescription drugs are not only ineffective, but introduce even more problems.
Desperate to find anything that could help, a growing number of veterans have turned to unconventional – and in some cases illegal – treatments…
Psychedelic-Based Medicine Is Coming Soon
Many veterans have found life-saving relief from illegal psychedelic drugs.
Growing evidence suggests psychedelics can help treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD, potentially stemming the tide of suicides among vets.
Psychedelics are a class of drugs whose primary action is to trigger thought, visual, and auditory changes, and an altered state of consciousness. Major psychedelic drugs include mescaline, LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and DMT.
Humans have used these mind-altering substances for thousands of years.
But the federal government classifies most psychedelics as Schedule I drugs, its most severe category, which means it believes they have “a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.” It’s a patently absurd situation.
It’s terrible enough for the politicians in Washington DC to send young people into these ridiculous Endless Wars. But it’s truly beyond unconscionable to threaten veterans with arrest and imprisonment when they return with PTSD and seek life-saving medicine.
Thankfully, the situation is changing rapidly. The legalization of psychedelic-based medicine is coming soon. It’s going to save countless lives.
It’s also going to create a new industry with enormous profit potential for investors.
A Trend Only on the Savviest Investors’ Radars
It’s a rare opportunity to get in at the ground floor of an industry that’s positively changing the world.
You may not be aware, but psychedelic legalization has taken a big step forward in the US in recent months.
Today, investing in psychedelics is only on the savviest investors’ radars.
Tim Ferriss is a bestselling author and entrepreneur. He’s also a renowned angel investor who made well-timed bets on Uber, Twitter, Alibaba, Shopify, Duolingo, Facebook, and many others.
He recently said this about investing in psychedelics:
I view the next five years as an absolutely golden window. There’s an opportunity to use relatively small amounts of money to have billions of dollars of impact and to affect millions of lives. There just aren’t that many opportunities that are so dramatically obvious.
Billionaires like the founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, and Mike Novogratz are just a few who are getting involved. So are hedge fund manager and owner of the New York Mets Steve Cohen and Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy.
It won’t be long before psychedelics go mainstream, even if that seems unbelievable right now.
The first psychedelic medicine company went public on a major US stock exchange at the end of September. It’s share price skyrocketed over 70% on its first day of trading.
The momentum is building. The medicinal and profit potential is too big to ignore.
The Flesh of the Gods
Psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, is leading the way in psychedelic legalization.
Some historians believe art and other archeological artifacts show that humans may have used psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, as far back as 9000 BC.
The Aztecs used a substance called teonanácatl, which means “flesh of the gods.” Many believe it was magic mushrooms.
Today, more than 100 species of mushrooms worldwide produce psilocybin.
Scientists don’t entirely understand how psilocybin affects the brain. It seems to work by binding to serotonin receptors. Psilocybin also appears to help connect networks in the brain, leading to a higher state of consciousness and complex emotions.
According to Matthew Johnson, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, with psilocybin:
There’s no dose with observable organ damage or neurotoxicity. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything sold over the counter that you could say this about – including caffeine and aspirin.
And the magic mushroom legalization trend is gaining momentum.
Mushroom Millionaires and the Next Investment Frontier
The US government, and most others around the world, have long banned psilocybin. However, significant cracks in the prohibition regime have appeared – and are growing wider.
As was the case with cannabis, proving psilocybin with medicinal benefits has been a big step towards ending prohibition.
In 2012, Colorado made history by becoming the first state (along with Washington) to legalize recreational cannabis.
In 2019, Colorado made history again when Denver became the first US jurisdiction to decriminalize magic mushrooms.
Colorado was a bellwether for cannabis, and it will be for psilocybin as well.
Oakland and Santa Cruz, California, have not only decriminalized magic mushrooms, but ayahuasca and mescaline, too.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, has decriminalized several psychedelics.
Today, there are efforts to legalize psychedelics in about 100 other US cities.
Washington, DC, voted to decriminalize psychedelics during the presidential election earlier this month.
The state of Oregon also voted to legalize psilocybin, for therapeutic purposes, becoming the first US state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.
Canada has also softened its psilocybin restrictions. In September, Canada legalized psilocybin use for certain cancer patients.
The situation with psilocybin is reminiscent of cannabis around 2012, right around when the first states started legalizing recreational use. It gave birth to a global megatrend worth hundreds of billions of dollars and created fortunes for early investors.
I think we’re going to see the same thing happen with psilocybin. But it could happen much faster, as cannabis has already blazed the legalization trail.
Cannabis provided a legalization template for other substances, and psilocybin is the next one.
That’s why investing in psilocybin today is like investing in cannabis at the very beginning.
I just recommended an exciting company at the forefront of the magic mushroom trend in my latest issue of Crisis Investing. For all the details on that, along with all my top picks to profit off the growing legalization of psychedelics and cannabis, go here.
Chief Analyst, Crisis Investing