Legislators in More States are Filing Measures to Legalize Psychedelics

Lawmakers in three separate states have introduced legislation to legalize psychedelics in 2023, increasing the number of states in the Unite States that are considering psychedelic reform this session to more than a dozen.

Recent research has revealed that psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, ketamine and MDMA have the potential to treat mental health conditions with minimal side effects. Given that America is currently going through a mental health crisis and patients are increasingly reporting that psychiatric pharmaceutical medications aren’t always effective, interest in psychedelics as an alternative medication has skyrocketed.

As more researchers across the country have launched studies into the potential benefits and risks of using psychedelics as mental health treatments, reformists across the country have begun introducing measures to legalize hallucinogenic drugs.

In Connecticut, Representative Michelle Cook introduced a placeholder bill that would direct a certain amount of state funds to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to create a “psychedelic-assisted therapy pilot program.” Once the final text of the legislation is released, it will be pushed to the House Public Health Committee. If it advances, it will legalize the medical and therapeutic use of psilocybin for mental, behavioral and physical health care.

Massachusetts may also be home to a legal psychedelic market after a pair of lawmakers introduced legislation that would legalize psychedelic use for adults aged 18 years and older. Representative Lindsay Sabadosa and Senator Patricia Jehlen recently partnered with the advocacy group Bay Starters for Natural Medicine (BSNM) to introduce the bill.

Specifically, the legislation would make it so that the growing, possession, ingestion, transportation, and gifting of two grams or less of psychedelics by adults isn’t illegal anymore.

The psychedelics covered by this resolution include ibogaine, psilocin, mescaline, psilocybin and dimethyltryptamine. According to BSNM founder James Davis, psilocybin mushrooms are “life changing” because of their profound effects against conditions such as depression, addiction and painful cluster headaches.

Oklahoma may also be home to a legal psychedelics market if efforts by Representative Daniel Pae are successful. Pae recently filed a bill that would allow universities and research facilities partnered with higher education institutions in the state to carry out research into the medical potential of psilocin and psilocybin.

These studies would focus on the medical potential of psilocybin and psilocin against traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life care, palliative care, early-stage dementia, opioid use disorder, severe depression, chronic pain, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety.

As the legalization movement spreads, for-profit enterprises such as atai Life Sciences N.V. (NASDAQ: ATAI) are also hard at work taking psychedelic-based drug development programs through the clinical trial process in order to win regulatory approval and be integrated into the mainstream medical industry.

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