Last week, legislators in the state of Virginia introduced new measures to decriminalize the possession of psychedelic substances. The bills in the Senate and the House of Delegates are almost identical, except that the proposal in the latter covers a number of psychedelic substances while the first one only calls for a reduction in the penalties imposed for psilocin and psilocybin possession.
The measure introduced in the House would amend the Virginia’s drug statute by making the possession of psilocin, psilocybin, ibogaine or peyote by individuals aged 21 and above a civil penalty punishable by a $100 fine. The possession of these substances under the current law is considered a Class 5 felony. Fines collected from possession violations will be directed to the state’s Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund, which supports drug courts and substance misuse treatment programs. Senator Ghazal Hashmi and Del. Dawn Adams are sponsoring the proposals.
The legislators were hosted during a virtual event organized by Decriminalize Nature Virginia in December. During the event, they shared their perspectives about the growing body of scientific evidence showing that psychedelic drugs could help to effectively treat conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-resistant depression.
Hashmi stated that there was a lot of research available showing that certain plant-based medicines possessed the capacity to help and heal individuals in ways that other medicines couldn’t do. Adams added that she had spent a lot of time studying plant medicine, in particular psilocybin, which led to the conclusion that it offered extraordinary and unique paths to help individuals with PTSD, refractory depression and end-of-life anxiety.
The sponsors may have a difficult time moving a psychedelics reform measure through the House under new Republican leadership. Even with approval from the legislature, they may also face resistance from the state’s incoming governor, GOP party member Glenn Yongkin, who has raised concerns about implementing a commercial cannabis market in accordance with what the outgoing Democratic governor approved in 2021.
Despite these potential challenges, the filing of the psychedelics reform proposal in the state is the latest example of legislators going along with the local decriminalization efforts playing out in different parts of the country. For instance, legislators in the state of Washington recently introduced a measure that would legalize supported psilocybin experiences for individuals aged 21 and above. In Missouri, a GOP legislator introduced a proposal to allow residents with severe illnesses legal access to psychedelic drugs such as LSD, ibogaine and psilocybin, through the state’s right-to-try law.
As such efforts to reform psychedelic policies gain momentum, companies such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) that are engaged in developing treatments based on these substances stand to have a wider market base, especially when regulatory approval by the FDA is secured.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/DELCF
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