States Pursuing Psychedelic Reform in 2023

Legislators in various states in the country are working to advance psychedelic reform during the 2023 session. The proposals introduced range from the decriminalization of natural plants and fungi to the legalization of psilocybin for therapeutic use.

Below is an overview of some of the measures lawmakers plan to advance in their respective jurisdictions.

Connecticut

Rep. David Michel recently introduced a psychedelics measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. In a recent phone interview, Michel explained that the decriminalization of these substances would stop certain communities from being targeted, adding that nature-based approaches had proven to be effective.

In 2022, Governor.\ Ned Lamont had signed a separate budget legislation including provisions that would establish a system to provide eligible patients with access to psychedelic-assisted treatment using drugs such as psilocybin.

California

Senator Scott Wiener recently reintroduced a measure to legalize the possession of a number of psychedelics. The bill in question would legalize the possession, transfer, transportation and preparation of certain amounts of psilocin, psilocybin, ibogaine, DMT and mescaline for facilitated or personal use. It should be noted that synthetic psychedelics such as MDMA and LSD would not be legalized.

Missouri

Representative Tony Lovasco recently announced his plans to file a revised psychedelics measure that would offer therapeutic access to psilocybin for individuals suffering from depression and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. The Republican legislator added that the new measure would include provisions to increase the program’s availability to more patients once the drug was rescheduled federally.

Illinois

Last week, a legislator in Illinois pre-filed a measure that would remove psilocybin from the Illinois’ list of controlled substances, thereby legalizing it. The measure, which was sponsored by Representative La Shawn Ford, would also establish an advisory board to give recommendations on psilocybin therapeutic services.

Montana

There are two psychedelic reform measures scheduled for introduction in the state of Montana. One of them, sponsored by Senator Jill Cohenour, will legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin in treating mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder while the other, sponsored by Representative George Nikolakakos, would mandate research on providing access to psilocybin for medical use.

New York

Legislators in the state of New York recently pre-filed a measure to legalize psychedelics such as ibogaine, DMT, psilocin, mescaline and psilocybin for use by individuals aged 21 and above. The measure, sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, will amend the state statute to make the use, possession, creation, cultivation, exchange, gifting or sharing of these natural plant- and fungus-based drugs legal for adults 21 and older.

Other states advancing reform measures include Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia and Oregon.

With companies such as atai Life Sciences N.V. (NASDAQ: ATAI) making progress in their bid to commercialize psychedelic-based medicines, the push to reform drugs laws is likely to gain momentum in the coming years.

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