A Michigan lawmaker has relaunched efforts to legalize psychedelic fungi and plants with the caveat that all psychedelic-related activity does not involve monetary exchange. Sponsored by Senator Jeff Irwin, Senate Bill 449 would legalize mescaline, psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), psilocin and ibogaine as well as the plants and fungi that produce these five psychedelics.
The measure would allow the noncommercial cultivation, manufacturing, delivery and possession of the five psychedelics and remove penalties for simple possession. Michigan currently classifies the simple possession of the five covered hallucinogens as a misdemeanor.
Irwin introduced a similar measure in late 2021 that would have legalized cultivating, delivering and possessing several plant and fungi-derived psychedelics as long as they weren’t involved in any commercial activity. However, the 2021 bill clarified that individuals were allowed to charge a “reasonable fee” for any guided spiritual, counseling or similar services involving entheogenic fungi or plant-derived psychedelics.
Irwin noted that psychedelics had therapeutic value and religious significance, were relatively safe for use, and had less probability of abuse. He also declared that it was time to stop wasting resources and time creating more victims of the failed drug war.
The senator now says Senate Bill 449 is a reintroduction of pertinent legislation that hadn’t received the consideration it deserved in Michigan and other states. In a recent interview, the senator said that it is crucial that legislators reconsider the measure as psychedelics have exhibited significant medical potential against a host of mental disorders, including major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety, all conditions that typically affect veterans, Irwin observed. A policy change allowing the therapeutic psychedelic use for such mental-health disorders would be “good public policy,” the senator said.
Although Irwin noted that the bill still had a long road ahead of it before advancing, he was optimistic that hesitant lawmakers would buy into the measure over time.
Psychedelics are still illegal in most states and at the federal level due to policies from the war on drugs era. However, a growing body of scientific literature indicates that psychedelics may be potent mental-health treatments with the ability to offer long-term relief at relatively minimal doses and with hardly any side effects.
This research has spurred legislative action in several states, cities and municipalities across the country. In Michigan, municipal governments in Hazel Park, Detroit, Ferndale and Ann Arbor have already taken steps to decriminalize psychedelics.
Companies such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) are advancing their psychedelic drug-development programs, and the information that filters through regarding the insights they identify is further encouraging the public to warm up even more to these substances and their medicinal potential.
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