Psychedelics have been the topic of reform in legislative branches for eleven different states, and 2022 will likely be a year with new policies and legislation related to the use of psychedelics. Magic mushrooms have been the topic of much of this debate, as psilocybin, the chemical compound inside the spores that causes hallucinations, has been shown to be useful for therapies related to mental health conditions.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of psychedelics, but research has shown that they can have important medical applications, and the law is catching up to these developments. As the eleven states work to normalize and even decriminalize psychedelics, other states will likely follow suit, and perhaps there will even be changes at the federal level.
Currently, there are many bills that have been proposed or are in the works, and many of them relate to mushroom spores as the first step in policy reform related to psychedelics. Magic mushrooms have been the subject of many studies, and there is science that backs them as valuable tools for the medical community when treating a variety of mental health conditions.
The Democratic Senator Scott Wiener from California tried to create a bill that would legalize the possession of several different psychedelics in 2022, but it did not pass at the last moment. He has refiled this bill in hopes of getting it passed this year, in 2023.
This bill focuses on psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, ibogaine, and DMT. It aims to legalize these psychedelic compounds for individual use as well as for use in facilities. The bill would legalize the transfer, transportation, preparation, and possession of these drugs, although only in certain amounts.
This bill leaves out synthetic psychedelics, including MDMA and LSD, and focuses on more natural options. The 2022 version of the bill did include these synthetic options, but this year it does not.
The bill also aims to repeal the Californian state law that prohibits spores that would lead to the growth of mushrooms that contain psilocybin and psilocin which are currently illegal in the state. Additionally, it aims to eliminate the current ban on drug paraphernalia related to the psychedelic substances that are going to be legalized per the bill.
Colorado has been a state that is ahead of the curve in terms of psychedelic reform, and many activists have done work there in hopes of legalizing psychedelics.
In 2019, Denver decriminalized psilocybin, becoming the first city in the United States to do so. In November of 2022, voters approved a ballot initiative that will create healing centers revolving around psilocybin as well as legalize some entheogenic compounds, which are generally psychedelics that are used in ritual or religious ceremonies.
Colorado has created an advisory board that aims to give expert opinions on the legalization law and how it should be implemented. The Democratic governor, Jared Polis, has commented that it may be necessary to pass further legislation based on the advice of the advisory board that would allow the healing centers and legalization to be done safely, effectively, and in allegiance with the wishes of the voters.
Polis has previously expressed his excitement about the new policies and feels positive about the treatment options offered by psychedelics for various mental health ailments. There has been extensive scientific research on the applications of psychedelics to various mental health conditions, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety, and Polis hopes that Colorado can be a leading state in opening up new treatment options for these conditions.
In June of 2022, Polis signed a bill that would legalize prescriptions of MDMA, which will become applicable if the federal government eventually allows it. It will not become active without input from the federal government, where MDMA prescriptions are currently illegal.
The Democratic Representative, David Michel, just came up with a psychedelic bill meant to be a placeholder while he files official legislation. The goal of this legislation is to allow psilocybin to be legally used for therapeutic reasons in the mental, behavioral, and physical care of patients with conditions that have resisted other treatments.
The Public Health Committee has examined this legislation and has been working with lawmakers to create a safety plan that will give people access to drugs that will improve their quality of life and health.
Michel plans to work toward decriminalization of all psychedelics as well, and he plans to work with the Democratic representative, Josh Elliott. Connecticut will likely see large changes that can help communities that have been overly affected by legal action against those in possession of psychedelics.
Mental health has been at an all-time low in Connecticut and across the country, and Michel believes that these bills will help combat this mental health issue and improve the quality of life in Connecticut.
In 2022, the Democratic governor Ned Lamont signed a budget bill that will help certain patients gain access to MDMA and psilocybin to treat their ailments, and more is being done this year to improve access to and treatment with psychedelics.
The “Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act” has been pre-filed in Illinois as of January 2023, and its goal is to legalize psilocybin. This bill would remove psilocybin from the list of controlled substances, which was created by the state of Illinois. It also aims to form an advisory board that will advise lawmakers on the safe use of psilocybin and ensure that any legalization comes with proper health and safety checks.
The Democratic representative, La Shawn Ford, hopes to expunge the records of people with certain psilocybin-related convictions. This could include minor drug charges related to the use or distribution of psilocybin, and it would help people who have criminal records due to psychedelics.
The upcoming legislative sessions aim to focus on psilocybin reform. The goal is to make psychedelics options for people with mental health conditions that have not responded to other treatments and that might benefit from the medical use of psychedelics.
In Missouri, Tony Lovasco, a Republican representative, has discussed plans to create a psychedelics bill that will allow those with severe mental health conditions to use psilocybin as a treatment. This new bill will be a modified version of a bill that he brought up in 2022, and it has been changed to reflect the input from the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee, which rejected the bill in March of 2022.
This bill will allow for clinical access to psilocybin to treat both PTSD and depression. It will only be available for those who receive a recommendation from a doctor, and it will be used for conditions that have been resistant to previous treatments.
Because most of the research done on psychedelics being used to treat mental illness has been done using psilocybin, that is the only drug that the bill currently pertains to, but once it is active, this may be extended. If and when the drug is decriminalized at a federal level, more people in Missouri will have access to psilocybin.
The Democratic representative Andy Smith is currently trying to create a bill that will give the people of Minnesota access to psychedelic medicine. He believes that there are many positive effects of psychedelics that have been masked by negative critics, but that MDMA specifically has been shown to have a positive effect on PTSD.
This bill is still a work in progress, and the exact contents are not yet available to the public, however, it is promising that it will help make great strides in the access to psychedelics for medical use in Minnesota.
2023 will bring about two new legislative policies in Montana focusing on psychedelics reform. The first aims to make psilocybin a legal treatment for PTSD and other mental health ailments that are positively affected by the use of psychedelics, based on extensive research.
The second legislative policy aims to incrementally require studies done by the state on the use of psychedelics in medicine. Using this study, new policies and laws can be made from an informed, well-researched lens.
These bills are not accessible to the public yet, but they have backers in the House of Representatives, and they will help move Montana toward the acceptance and wider use of psychedelics.
The Democratic Senate President, Nicholas Scutari, has filed a bill in 2022 that is still relevant in 2023 that aims to allow psilocybin mushrooms to be legally cultivated, gifted, and possessed by those aged 21 and up.
This bill also includes a system for a business to get licensed to provide psilocybin services. These services would require supervision in a clinical setting, and psychedelics could be used by professionals to treat a variety of conditions.
Additionally, the Democratic governor Phil Murphy reduced penalties for the possession of one ounce or less of psilocybin in 2021, and this new bill would expand on this and make it more effective and widespread. This could be the start of further decriminalization.
In New York, a bill has been pre-filed for 2023 that aims to legalize some psychedelics, including psilocybin and ibogaine. It will only legalize these drugs for people aged 21 and up.
Linda Rosenthal, a Democratic assembly member, has sponsored this drug and wants it to be legal to produce, cultivate, use, possess, share, and exchange these psychedelics for adults; she also wants to include hallucinogens that come from fungus or natural plants.
The drugs that will be affected by the bill include ibogaine, mescaline, psilocin, psilocybin, and DMT, which are all considered natural hallucinogens. Synthetic psychedelics are not included in this list.
The legislation will also allow for the use of these drugs in religious ceremonies and rituals when applicable.
Rosenthal has previously created a bill that would make a psychedelic research institute in New York make policy recommendations and study the therapeutic use of these drugs in a controlled, legal setting. She has also been involved in measures that aim to use psilocybin for clinical treatments for various mental health disorders.
Oregon is a state that has already broadly decriminalized drug possession as of 2020, and psilocybin is currently decriminalized there. This means that possession is legal, and there will be no drug charges for having psychedelics or other drugs in one’s care.
In 2023, lawmakers have filed legislation that will improve the psilocybin services program. In early January 2023, this program started to accept applications for business licenses.
The Democratic senator Elizabeth Steiner has introduced a bill that would require businesses related to psilocybin and its distribution to report demographics related to their clients. They would also have to provide data related to the services they provide, such as the average dose of psilocybin used in each session.
The Republican Senator Kim Thatcher has created a proposal that would mean that every person who applied for a psilocybin business license must submit information about the location of their business as well as ownership information. This will be done before the application is approved and will be another step in making sure that the system is properly regulated.
Virginia has many proposals that have been created for implementation in 2023, and there is one created by the Democratic delegate Dawn Adams that aims to allow psilocybin to be used for therapies for mental health disorders.
This legislation would allow those with prescriptions from doctors to gain access to psilocybin which could be used to treat severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Psilocybin has been found to have positive effects on these disorders, and Adams hopes to make this treatment accessible to this group of people.
The proposal also gives doctors and pharmacists legal protections at the state level for distributing this psilocybin as long as it is properly used for treatments. This would mean that at the state level, they would not face repercussions for distributing prescriptions.
Currently, state laws mean that any possession of this psychedelic aside from medical usage will lead to a class 2 misdemeanor. This could involve a $500 fine as well as 30 days in jail, but with the new legislation this will no longer be relevant.
Virginia Senator Ghazala Hashmi, a Democrat, filed a bill in early January 2023 that will classify psilocybin into Schedule III rather than Schedule I per state guidelines. This would help with the decriminalization and legalization of this psychedelic.
There will also be an advisory board created that will create a plan and strategy regarding psilocybin and make sure that the process is safe and efficient. It will also aim to protect the rights of the people and medical professionals in Virginia.
Check out our library of magic mushroom spores if interested in microscopic study of psilocybin spores.