Massachusetts Legislators Introduce Bills to Study Psychedelics, Remove Criminal Penalties

Last week, legislators in Massachusetts introduced initiatives that may help end the war on drugs in the state. One measure would establish a task force whose focus will be to study fungi and plant-based psychedelics, its objective being to regulate and legalize these substances. The  second other proposal would do away with criminal penalties for drug possession.

This isn’t the only call to end criminal prohibition in the state. Recently, the city councils of Cambridge and Somerville adopted initiatives that made possession of psychedelics among the lowest law enforcement priorities for their municipalities.

HD 3439, which was introduced to the House by Reps. Mike Connolly and Liz Miranda, would establish a civil fine of $50 for possession of controlled substances. SD 2248, a senate version of the bill that is almost identical to the House legislation, was introduced by Senator Julian Andre Cyr. A separate House legislation that would take the state past decriminalization and permit regulated sales of some drugs was also introduced by Connolly.

To begin with, HD 3829 would set up an interorganizational task force whose purpose would be to study the social justice and public health consequences of legalizing the distribution, consumption, transportation and possession of naturally grown, entheogenic fungi and plants. The legislation states that the task force, which will be made up of 21 people, will study the effects of fungi and plant-based psychedelics and provide suggestions regarding how to legalize these psychedelic substances in a way that would maximize both the sustainable manufacture of these entheogens as well as equitable access.

The initiative also demands that the task force provide counsel around “equity and expungement measures, diversion, parole and pardons” for individuals who have criminal records because of the distribution or possession of controlled substances.

Massachusetts is not the only state considering measures that do away with drug penalties. In California, Sen. Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would legalize the social sharing and possession of some drugs including MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, LSD, ibogaine, mescaline and ketamine. The legislation would also offer expungement of past criminal records for the use or possession of psychedelic substances.

Additionally, the state of California would set up a task force under the initiative to study the possible future systems of regulation around psychedelics. The task force will be required to present a report on its findings by 2024.

Lawmakers in the states of Virginia, Connecticut, Washington State, Florida, Kansas and Hawaii are also considering drug policy and psychedelics reform legislations for the 2021 session.

The momentum in favor of psychedelics is also manifesting on the business front. For instance, XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) has set its sights on producing active pharmaceutical ingredients (“API”) from psychedelic compounds on an industrial scale.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/XPHYF

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