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New Mexico Governor Endorses Psilocybin Therapy And Research Resolution That Passed The Senate



The governor of New Mexico “endorses” 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, a spokesperson for her office tells Marijuana Moment.

One week after the Senate unanimously passed the measure from Senate Minority Whip Craig Brandt (R) and Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D), Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s (D) office said that she “endorses the memorial in concept.”

Michael Coleman, director of communication for Lujan Grisham, added that the governor “generally supports innovative and responsible research and treatment to address depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health challenges.”

Prior to passage on the Senate floor, the Health and Public Affairs Committee also unanimously advanced the resolution.

As “memorial” legislation, the proposal isn’t binding. Rather, it represents a formal request for the state Department of Health to “study the efficacy of using psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic treatments and the establishment of a program for psilocybin mushrooms to be used for therapeutic medical treatments.”

The whereas section of the resolution cites various studies supporting the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin for conditions such as major depression and substance misuse, while pointing out that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated the psychedelic as a “breakthrough therapy.”

To that end, the measure states that the health department should look into “necessary statutory or regulatory framework for developing” a state-level psilocybin program.

“It turns out that medical mushrooms, psilocybin, has proven to be medically efficacious for the use of major behavioral health issues,” Steinborn said before the floor vote last week. “It can help alleviate and be an alternative to major anti-depressant drugs and probably other drugs that have serious side effects and can bring real relief to New Mexicans.”

Brandt said that psilocybin therapy is “not a treatment that you take on your own once a day or once a week or even once a month, but it can be a treatment that’s done about once every six months to every year, as needed.”

“And sometimes one treatment is all that’s needed to actually cure someone of a traumatic brain injury, or of PTSD,” he said. “And so this is actually a really exciting, cutting-edge technology… God seems to have provided a cure, and we just need to figure out how to use that cure.”

Several researchers and advocates testified in favor of the legislation during its committee stop, urging lawmakers to help make New Mexico a leader on psychedelics research at a time of heightened interest into the potential of substances such as psilocybin to address widespread mental health concerns.

Prior to passage, the committee adopted an amendment stipulating that it wants the health department to partner with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center on the psilocybin research.

The Senate passage of the psychedelics resolution comes one year after the House Health and Human Services Committee passed a similar bill that called for the creation of a state body to study the possibility of launching a psilocybin therapy program for certain patients. That measure did not advance further in the 2023 session, however.

A growing number of states are pursuing psychedelics reform legislation this session, 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, 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.

On Monday, a second Arizona Senate committee approved a bipartisan bill that would legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting, sending it to the floor.

Last week, an Alaska Senate committee advanced a bill 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.

Last week, an Indiana House committee approved a Republican-led bill that would fund clinical research trials into psilocybin that has already cleared the full Senate.

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 last month. 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.

A New York lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would create a pilot program to provide psilocybin therapy to 10,000 people, focusing on military veterans and first responders, while the legislature also considers broader psychedelics reform.

A Missouri House committee considered a proposal last month that would legalize the medical use of psilocybin in the state and mandate clinical trials exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the governor signed the resolution based on the legislature’s website designating it as “Signed by Governor.” In fact, such measures do not go to the governor’s desk for action in New Mexico.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Mushroom Observer.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


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