The New Hampshire state legislature is presently under Republican control, which has made it harder for legislators to end marijuana prohibition and establish a regulated sales system. Despite this, Rep. Tony Labranche, one of the youngest state lawmakers in the United States, is calling for the decriminalization of psilocybin and all illicit substances.
During an interview last week, the representative spoke about his plans to end the criminalization of individuals who possess or use psilocybin mushrooms in addition to generally decriminalizing the possession of controlled substances. He stated that it was the right thing to do because any individual who suffers from substance use disorder shouldn’t be criminalized. He added that individuals should have the right to use substances such as psilocybin mushrooms, which aren’t hard drugs that are dangerous.
Earlier in the year, a 20-year-old legislator in the state of Kansas also introduced a measure to decriminalize the possession of drugs broadly. The legislator, Rep. Aaron Coleman, along with Labranche, have stated that they were motivated by successful efforts to end the criminalization of drugs in various jurisdictions, particularly as it concerns psychedelic substances and cannabis.
Labranche explained that his strategy was to take it one step at a time, noting that addiction was not a criminal justice issue but a public health issue. He added that he was particularly pleased to see voters in the state of Oregon approve the November 2020 measure to decriminalize the possession of drugs, asserting that that was what he’d like the state of New Hampshire to be one day. He also recognized that the state had a long way to go before it could become a leader in drug policy reform, giving the example of cannabis legalization, which is yet to be achieved.
The young legislator’s measures are set for introduction during the 2022 session. Other legislators in the state are also calling for the enactment of cannabis legalization, while broader reform is on the horizon. The legislators have introduced a new strategy to legalize marijuana that will involve placing a proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot.
Advocates are hopeful that the measure will advance as the decision will be made by voters in the state, whose governor is still opposed to adult-use legalization. Recently, Elon Musk, who is the founder of SpaceX, talked about the shifting dynamics of psychedelic substances, forecasting that there would be a greater embrace of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances as the younger generation assumed various positions in government.
As the ground-breaking work on psychedelic innovation by companies such as Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) becomes known, more jurisdictions are likely to rethink their policies with regard to these substances.
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