Lawmakers from nearly a dozen states have introduced psychedelic reform legislation since the new year began. Almost every one of the proposed bills makes mention of psilocybin—better known as the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms.
Research has uncovered evidence in the last decade that indicates that psilocybin treatments may help individuals suffering from trauma, and state leaders across the country have started a push to regulate the drug for therapeutic use.
Oregon became the first state to legalize magic mushrooms in 2020. The law set up a regulatory system to approve psilocybin health treatment centers. Regulators finished drafting the state’s rules only days before the January 1 deadline. Individuals over 21 can now access the drug at state-approved sites, but the state is still reviewing applicants and training facilitators.
In November, Colorado became the second state to legalize the use of psilocybin and other psychedelics. The law decriminalizes using and possessing the drug and legalizes the cultivation of mushrooms. Under this law, sale is prohibited, but sharing between adults over 21 is allowed. It also sets up a framework for licensed professionals to administer the drug to individuals over 21 in controlled settings. State-approved mushroom clinics could open as early as 2024.
Here are the states that are now considering psychedelic reform:
California lawmaker state Sen. Scott Wiener (D) has refiled a bill that would decriminalize the possession and personal use of certain psychedelic drugs—including psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine.
According to a press release, Wiener’s bill is modeled off of similar reform attempts in Oregon, Colorado and other states.
“Psychedelics have tremendous capacity to help people heal, but right now, using them is a criminal offense,” said Wiener. “These drugs literally save lives and are some of the most promising treatments we have for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction. We need to end the outdated, racist, failed War on Drugs and finally pursue drug policies that help people instead of incarcerating them.”
Last year the governor of Connecticut signed a spending bill that included provisions to set up psychedelic treatment centers where patients would have access to psilocybin or MDMA therapy.
State Rep. David Michel (D) recently announced his intent to introduce a bill that would legalize the use of psilocybin for mental and physical health care.
State Rep. Michelle Cook (D) has also introduced a bill that appropriate funds from the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to establish a psychedelic therapy program.
State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D) recently introduced a bill that would establish a regulatory framework to allow adults over 18 to access psilocybin therapy at state-approved facilities. The bill would also decriminalize the use and possession of psilocybin and expunge previous psilocybin-related arrest records. This bill would not allow for the sale of magic mushrooms, however.
State Sen. Patricia Jehlen (D) and state Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D-MA) recently filed a bill that would legalize “possession, ingestion, obtaining, growing, giving away without financial gain to natural persons 18 years of age or older, and transportation” of up to two grams of psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline.
State Rep. Tony Lovasco (R-MO) recently filed a bill that would give patients with severe mental health conditions access to psilocybin treatment. If passed, the bill would allow those suffering from PTSD, severe depression, terminal illness or any other treatment-resistant mental health condition to treat their illness with psilocybin. While the bill does not legalize psilocybin, it protects users, doctors and caregivers from being prosecuted for possessing or distributing the drug.
State Rep. Andy Smith (D) says he is working on a bill that will form a “psychedelic medicine task force” to examine the treatment potential of drugs like psilocybin.
State Sen. Jill Cohenour (D) is reportedly working on a bill that would legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use. At the same time, Rep. George Nikolakakos (R-MT) is drafting a bill that calls for research on magic mushrooms and their potential as a treatment option.
New Jersey decriminalized the possession of small amounts of psilocybin in 2021. Now Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D) has introduced a bill that would legalize the possession, cultivation and gifting of psilocybin for adults over 21. It would also set up a regulatory system for the licensing of psilocybin businesses.
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D) is sponsoring a bill that would legalize the “possession, use, cultivation and gifting or exchange of certain naturally occurring substances while offering protections to adults who may choose to use them.” Legalized substances would include psilocybin, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine. The bill would not legalize the sale of these drugs but would legalize kits that would aid in cultivating them at home.
State Rep. Daniel Pae (R) recently filed legislation that would let universities and research facilities study whether psilocybin and psilocyn can be used to treat PTSD, traumatic brain injury, early-stage dementia, palliative care, end-of-life care, opioid use disorder, chronic pain, severe depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Delegate Dawn Adams (D) has filed legislation that would legalize the medical use of psilocybin to treat “refractory depression or post-traumatic stress disorder or to ameliorate end-of-life anxiety” with a doctor’s recommendation. The bill would also protect doctors and caretakers from prosecution for distributing psilocybin. Non-medical possession of the drug would be made a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D) pre-filed a bill that would reclassify psilocybin as Schedule III under state statute. The bill would also set up an advisory board to build a regulatory system for the therapeutic use of the drug.
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