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New Mexico Senate Passes Psilocybin Therapy And Research Resolution In Unanimous Vote



The New Mexico Senate has unanimously approved a bipartisan 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.

The body voted 37-0 to pass the measure from Senate Minority Whip Craig Brandt (R) and Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D).

The action came days after the Health and Public Affairs Committee had approved the legislation, also unanimously.

As “memorial” legislation, the proposal isn’t binding. Rather, it would represent 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. “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 Arizona Senate committee this week approved a bill to legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting.

An Alaska Senate House took testimony this week on a plan that would create a state task force to explore how to legalize and regulate the therapeutic use of psychedelics in the state.

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 Indiana Senate approved a bill this month that would fund clinical research trials into psilocybin-assisted therapy for mental health.

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.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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