Connect with us

Politics

Indiana Lawmakers Send Psilocybin Research Funding Bill To Governor

Published

on

The Indiana legislature has sent a bill to the governor’s desk that includes provisions to fund clinical research trials into psilocybin.

The House and Senate both passed the underlying legislation on health care issues, which was amended to add the psychedelics language, last week.

The reform provisions that lawmakers attached to the broader legislation were taken from a standalone measure from Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R) that cleared the Senate last month and then advanced through a House committee.

Charbonneau said in a press release on Friday that the intent of the proposal is to provide funding to “aid Indiana research institutions in studying the potential use of psilocybin in treating mental health and other medical conditions, especially in veterans and first responders.”

Under the amended bill that’s now going to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), the state would create a therapeutic psilocybin research fund “for the purpose of providing financial assistance to research institutions in Indiana to study…the use of psilocybin to treat mental health and other medical conditions.”

Any research receiving funding under the legislation would need to include veterans and first responders regarding in the study sample.

Researchers would need to apply to the state Department of Health to receive funds to study the substance as a treatment for conditions, several of which are specified in the bill as introduced: PTSD “with a focus on treating the disorder in combat veterans and first responders,” anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, chronic pain and migraines.

Alcohol use disorder and tobacco use disorder were added to list of conditions in the standalone bill in committee, and that updated language was also incorporated into the amendment to the enacted health care legislation.

The studies supported by the legislation would need to “compare the efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for mental health and other medical conditions…with the efficacy of other current treatment options.”

The proposal would become effective immediately upon passage. Officials would need to establish a process to administer the fund and process applications by July 1.

A state-created study committee recently recommended that lawmakers authorize a psilocybin pilot program to research psychedelic-assisted therapy for mental health during this year’s legislative session, advising that “the Indiana General Assembly take an approach that strikes a balance between access, research, and prudence.”

While psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, the body said, the “prevailing view is that psilocybin should not be a Schedule I drug and has proven medical benefits.”

Charbonneau, the sponsor of the standalone psilocybin measure, said late last year that he was already in touch with people at Indiana University Health and Purdue University about psychedelic research.

Indiana lawmakers have been considering marijuana legalization but so far have yet to take concrete steps toward the reform in the GOP-controlled legislature. Another interim study group heard testimony around the possibility of decriminalizing simple cannabis possession in November, but the group did not make any specific recommendations.

In an op-ed for Marijuana Moment, Rep. Blake Johnson (D) wrote recently that Indiana is “falling far behind” on marijuana as its neighboring states legalize. “I implore my fellow legislators to listen to the statistics. It’s time for Indiana to sow the seeds and reap the economic benefits of cannabis,” he wrote.

One supportive lawmaker—Rep. Justin Moed (D)—managed to force a vote on marijuana legalization in the House last year, but Republicans rejected the proposal.

On psychedelics, Indiana is just one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are pursuing reform, with a focus on research and therapeutic access.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

For example, on Wednesday the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill to create a psychedelics task force responsible for studying possible regulatory frameworks for therapeutic access to substances such as psilocybin, mescaline and DMT. It would be charged specifically with ensuring “broad, equitable and affordable access to psychedelic substances” in the state.

On Monday an Arizona House panel approved a Senate-passed bill to legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting.

Utah lawmakers last week unanimously approved a Republican-led bill to authorize a pilot program for hospitals to administer psilocybin and MDMA as an alternative treatment option, sending it to the governor.

Also last week a Missouri House committee unanimously approved a bill to legalize the medical use of psilocybin by military veterans and fund studies exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing on a bill to decriminalize possession of psilocybin last week.

A Vermont legislative panel continued its consideration this month of a bill that would legalize psilocybin in the state and establish a work group on how to further regulate psychedelics for therapeutic use.

The governor of New Mexico recently endorsed a newly enacted resolution requesting that state officials research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and explore the creation of a regulatory framework to provide access to the psychedelic.

An Illinois senator recently introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin and allow regulated access at service centers in the state where adults could use the psychedelic in a supervised setting—with plans to expand the program to include mescaline, ibogaine and DMT.

Alaska House and Senate committees are considering legislation that would create a task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy in anticipation of eventual federal legalization of substances like MDMA and psilocybin.

Lawmakers in Hawaii are also continuing to advance a bill that would provide some legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval.

New York lawmakers also said that a bill to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy in that state has a “real chance” of passing this year.

Bipartisan California lawmakers also recently introduced a bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where adults 21 and older could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators.

A Nevada joint legislative committee held a hearing with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin in January. Law enforcement representatives also shared their concerns around legalization—but there was notable acknowledgement that some reforms should be enacted, including possible rescheduling.

The governor of Massachusetts recently promoted the testimony of activists who spoke in favor of her veterans-focused bill that would, in part, create a psychedelics work group to study the therapeutic potential of substances such as psilocybin.

Massachusetts Governor To Pardon Hundreds Of Thousands With Marijuana Convictions

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Mushroom Observer.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Become a patron at Patreon!
Advertisement

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

 

Get our daily newsletter.