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Seattle Becomes Largest U.S. City To Decriminalize Psychedelics

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Seattle’s City Council approved a resolution Monday to decriminalize noncommercial activity around a wide range of psychedelic substances, including the cultivation and sharing of psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine and non-peyote-derived mescaline.

The landmark measure extends what is already Seattle city policy not to arrest or prosecute people for personal drug possession to further protect the cultivation and sharing of psychedelic plants and fungi for ‚Äúreligious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth practices.‚ÄĚ

The legislation, passed by a unanimous vote, declares ‚Äúthat the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among The City of Seattle‚Äôs lowest enforcement priorities‚ÄĚ and requests the city’s police department ‚Äúmove toward the formal codification and adoption of that practice as departmental policy.‚ÄĚ

Further, it expresses the council’s intent ‚Äúto determine what changes would be necessary to protect from arrest or prosecution individuals who cultivate entheogens‚ÄĚ and to make those changes through a subsequent ordinance.

“These nonaddictive natural substances have real potential in clinical and therapeutic settings to make a really significant difference in people’s lives,” Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who introduced the resolution, said before the vote. “This resolution really sets the stage as the first significant action in the state of Washington to move this policy forward.”

“Entheogens, commonly known psychedelics, have been shown to benefit the well-being of individuals suffering from depression, severe anxiety, problematic substance use, post-traumatic stress, end-of-life anxiety, grief, and intergenerational trauma,” a press release from the councilman’s office said. “These and other physical and mental conditions are plaguing many communities, which have been further demonstrated to be exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.”

The resolution was inspired in part by the City Council‚Äôs interest in reducing opioid-related deaths. Members in June formally asked a local task force studying the overdose crisis¬†to examine ‚Äúpublic policy governing psychedelic medicines.‚Ä̬†Three months later, the task force recommended the city decriminalize psychedelics and consider removing criminal penalties around all drugs.

Meanwhile, members of the advocacy group Decrim Nature Seattle has spent more than two years lobbying the council to end penalties for cultivating and sharing psychedelics. In May, the group submitted a draft ordinance to Lewis’s office at the councilmember’s request.

Decrim Nature Seattle (DNS) on Monday cheered the council’s adoption of the resolution, noting that Seattle is now the largest city in the country to have passed a decriminalization measure.

“We’re happy that our years of effort have paid off in making this a reality,” said Kody Zalewski, DNS co-director and chair of policy and research, who thanked volunteers for making the victory possible. “This is only the very beginning of conducting a much larger push to expand access to psychedelic medicine across Washington State, and codifying the intent of this resolution via citywide ordinance.”

“Public opinion is changing, and many people are waking up to the fact that the War on Drugs leads to unnecessary incarceration, impedes access to profoundly effectively medicine and impinges on both religious freedom and personal liberty,” Zalewski continued. “Social progress rarely happens through sweeping changes, but rather occurs from winning one small battle at a time.”

Tatiana Luz Quintana, the group’s co-director and co-chair of education and outreach, stressed the importance of crafting local and state policy around psychedelics that guarantees access for marginalized and oppressed groups, for example by including the right to grow and share psychedelic plants with other adults. Home cultivation of marijuana, by contrast, remains illegal in Washington State.

“While we have been following in the footsteps of cannabis decriminalization, we must reflect on the policies that fell short,” Quintana said. “Creating equitable access to psychedelics must be at the forefront of how we continue to move this legislation forward.”

Lewis, the councilmember who introduced the resolution, told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview¬†that he believes “we’re in a position where, I think, we could see movement pretty quickly from the state,” noting that he’s received very little blowback from constituents about his own proposal.

Last month, advocates announced a push to put a measure on Washington’s 2022 ballot that would decriminalize all drugs and invest state money in treatment and recovery.

During debate on the local measure on Monday, Councilmember Kshama Sawant questioned why the vehicle for the policy change was a resolution rather than a formal ordinance that would amend the city’s municipal code.

‚ÄúWe have not pushed for resolutions in place of ordinances when it is possible and realistic and necessary from a political and moral standpoint for the council to have an ordinance passed to decriminalize psychedelics,‚ÄĚ she said, adding that to decriminalize ‚Äúin fact, rather than just in rhetoric, would require an ordinance, and it is the City Council, not the police department that has the authority to pass such an ordinance.‚ÄĚ

The version of the Seattle resolution passed by the City Council includes some minor changes to an initial draft that was heard late last month by the council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee. Specifically, it removes a provision that would have requested the city’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations draft a decriminalization bill for legislators to introduce at the state level. It also replaces a reference to “Native Americans” with “Indigenous people of the American Southwest.”

The latter change is in reference to the historical use of peyote, a cactus endemic to Mexico and parts of the American Southwest, which would not be decriminalized under the council’s resolution. The measure specifically excludes peyote from its definition of entheogens, citing its vulnerable ecological status and unique cultural significance to certain Indigenous groups.

Peyote matures slowly and is currently categorized by conservationists as ‚Äúvulnerable‚ÄĚ after an uptick in¬†illicit harvesting. The cactus currently has no federal protection in the U.S., while in Mexico only Indigenous people can legally harvest it.

Groups such as the National Council of Native American Churches, which uses peyote ceremonially, have been urging activists and lawmakers not to include peyote on lists of allowed plants and fungi. The group argued in a letter last year that the cactus should be ‚Äúpreserved for utilization by and for Indigenous peoples.‚ÄĚ

In Santa Cruz, one of the first U.S. cities to decriminalize psychedelic plants and fungi, the City Council last month amended its policy to specifically exclude peyote as well as other cacti that contain mescaline.

The change was supported by leaders of Decriminalize Santa Cruz (DSC), which helped pass the original measure. In a statement, the group apologized ‚Äúfor our lack of cultural sensitivity surrounding the Peyote cacti (Lophophora williamsii) and discounting Indigenous consultation in the process of decriminalizing entheogenic plants and fungi.‚ÄĚ

How to reform drug laws while respecting Indigenous peoples’ centuries-old relationship with the threatened cactus has caused some controversy within the psychedelic advocacy community, however, and not all activists agree with the peyote carveout.

Carlos Plazola, the co-founder and chair of Decriminalize Nature National, opposed the change in Santa Cruz and spoke Monday during the Seattle City Council’s public comment period, arguing that prohibiting personal cultivation of peyote will put the cactus at further risk of extinction.

“For 100 years plus, we’ve had peyote criminalized, and it’s only led to its decline,” he told the council, though he said he nevertheless supported the council’s passage of the resolution.

The Seattle measure notes that “entheogens have been recognized as sacred to human cultures around the world for centuries, and continue to be revered and utilized to this day by venerable and sincere cultural and spiritual leaders and communities throughout the world and the United States.”

Lewis, for his part, said the issue of whether to include peyote is “certainly a conversation I’m willing to continue” if the policy is crafted into a formal city ordinance.

Like much of the rest of the country, Washington State is contemplating major changes in how it treats drug use. Earlier this year, state lawmakers considered legislation that would have removed all penalties for possession of relatively small, ‚Äúpersonal use‚ÄĚ amounts of drugs and instead invested in treatment and recovery services. While that bill died in committee, lawmakers from both parties acknowledged at the time that the state‚Äôs drug control apparatus was broken.

Shortly thereafter, the state Supreme Court overturned Washington‚Äôs felony law against drug possession completely, sending lawmakers scrambling to replace the law. Ultimately they approved a modest reform, reducing the state‚Äôs felony charge for drug possession to a misdemeanor¬†and earmarking more money for treatment. But the law’s criminal penalties will expire in 2023, an effort to encourage lawmakers to revisit the policy.

Jurisdictions across the country are increasingly removing or reducing penalties around drug possession and consumption, especially when it comes to psychedelics. Since Denver in 2019 became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, a number of states and municipalities have made similar changes to dismantle the drug war.

Oregon voters passed a pair of initiatives last November to legalize psilocybin therapy and decriminalize possession of all drugs. On the local level, activists in Portland are mounting a push to have local lawmakers extend psychedelics decriminalization to include cultivation, gifting and ceremonial use.

Washington, D.C. voters also approved a ballot measure last year to deprioritize enforcement of laws criminalizing psychedelics.

In California, activists last month were cleared to begin collecting signatures for a historic initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms. The cities of Oakland and Santa Cruz have already enacted psychedelics decriminalization, and last year Oakland lawmakers approved a follow-up resolution that calls for the policy change to be adopted statewide and for local jurisdictions to be allowed to permit healing ceremonies where people could use psychedelics.

Meanwhile, Denver activists have set their eyes on broader psilocybin reform, with plans to allow noncommercial gifting and communal use of the substance.

Detroit currently stands to become one of the next major cities to decriminalize psychedelics, with the reform proposal making the local ballot for this November.

Elsewhere in Michigan, the Ann Arbor City Council has already elected to make enforcement of laws prohibition psychedelics like psilocybin, ayahuasca and DMT among the city’s lowest priorities. And last week the City Council in Grand Rapids advanced its own decriminalization resolution, but it fell far short of what activists had hoped. Rather than making any formal changes to city policy, it merely expresses support for future reform.

Massachusetts cities that have enacted the policy change include Northampton, Somerville and Cambridge. In July, state lawmakers heard testimony about a bill to create a task force charged with studying the implications of legalizing psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

The governor of Connecticut recently signed legislation recently that includes language requiring the state to carry out a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

Texas also recently enacted a bill to require the state study the medical benefits of psychedelics for military veterans.

A New York lawmaker introduced a bill in June that would require the state to establish an institute to similarly research the medical value of psychedelics.

The Maine House of Representatives passed a drug decriminalization bill this year, but it later died in the Senate.

At the federal level, congressional lawmakers in May filed the first-ever legislation to federally decriminalize possession of illicit substances.

In a setback for advocates, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted against a proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that would have eased rules that currently limit research into Schedule I drugs, but it picked up considerably more votes this round than when the congresswoman first introduced it in 2019.

Report provisions of separate, House-passed spending legislation identify a need to expand cannabis and psychedelics research, including into the potential therapeutic value of psychedelics for military veterans suffering from a host of mental health conditions.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also recently announced funding for a study into whether psilocybin can help people quit smoking cigarettes.

Elon Musk Says People Should Be ‘Open To Psychedelics’ And Predicts The Next Generation Of Politicians Will Normalize The Substances

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.

Ben Adlin is a Seattle-based writer and editor. He has covered cannabis as a journalist since 2011, most recently as a senior news editor for Leafly.

Politics

Colorado Activists File Revised Ballot Initiatives To Legalize Psilocybin And Establish ‘Healing Centers’

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Colorado activists have filed revised versions of a pair of 2022 ballot initiatives to legalize psilocybin and create licensed “healing centers” where people can use the psychedelic for therapeutic purposes. The move comes as state lawmakers have introduced a separate bill to require a study into the efficacy of plant-based psychedelics.

The ballot measures‚ÄĒfiled by Kevin Matthews, the campaign manager behind Denver’s historic 2019 vote to locally decriminalize psilocybin and entrepreneur Veronica Perez‚ÄĒare similar to earlier versions the advocates filed with the secretary of state’s office last month, with a few key changes concerning the rollout of the reform, promoting equity and possession limits.

For the original initiatives, the campaign was considering two options: one would have legalized a wide range of entheogenic substances including DMT, ibogaine and mescaline, as well as establish a regulatory model for psychedelics therapy. The other would have initially enacted the reform for psilocybin and psilocin alone.

But recognizing that regulators would be faced with an onerous task to set up rules for multiple psychedelics, activists decided to take a different approach with the new measures. For both, there would be a two-tiered regulatory model, where only psilocybin would be legalized and regulated for therapeutic use until June 2026, after which point regulators could expand the policy change to include other psychedelics that are listed in the proposal.

“We really wanted to make sure that the administration had time to set up a proper regulatory structure‚ÄĒfirst for psilocybin and then for any further natural medicines,” Rick Ridder of RBI Strategies, a spokesperson for the campaign, told Marijuana Moment on Monday.

The decision to add additional psychedelics to the program would be made by the Department of Regulatory Agencies in consultation with a Natural Medicine Advisory Board that would be established. The board would be comprised of 15 members, including people who have experience with psychedelic medicine in a scientific and religious context.

Another major change from the prior versions is that the revised initiatives do not contain explicit “allowable” possession limits‚ÄĒa provision that had garnered pushback from certain Colorado activists when the original measures were filed.

And unlike the last two versions of the initiatives, these new measures also include specific provisions meant to “ensure the regulatory access program is equitable and inclusive and to promote the licensing of and the provision of natural medicine services” for people who have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization, who face challenges accessing health care, have “traditional or indigenous history with natural medicines” and military veterans.

Those rules could involve, but are not limited to, reduced licensing fees, reduced costs for low-income people and an annual review of “the effectiveness of such policies and programs.”

“I think what this is is a giant step forward for mental health treatment in the state of Colorado,” Ridder said. “As we’ve looked at the results of research throughout the world, we’re seeing very promising data related to particularly healthy people with PTSD, with suicidal tendencies and end-of-life. And this is just an opportunity to bring that kind of natural medicine and medicinal help to citizens here in Colorado.”

The two new initiatives are nearly identical to each other, except that one contains a component specifically authorizing people to petition courts for record sealing for past convictions that would be made legal under the proposal.

Under the proposals, the Department of Regulatory Agencies would be responsible for developing rules for a therapeutic psychedelics program where adults 21 and older could visit a licensed ‚Äúhealing center‚ÄĚ to receive treatment under the guidance of a trained facilitator.

This latest filing comes more than two years after Denver became the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Various activists, including those involved in the 2019 campaign, have signaled interest in building upon the reform.

The initiatives must still be assigned an official ballot title and summary from the state before they’re approved to begin signature gathering. The measures are scheduled to receive a review and comment hearing on February 3. If approved by state officials, activists will choose one of the measures to pursue and will then need to collect 124,632 valid signatures from registered voters to achieve ballot access.

The Colorado ballot initiatives seek to accomplish something similar to what California activists are actively pursuing. California advocates are in the process of collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms in the state.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, Sen. Joann Ginal (D) and Rep. Alex Valdez (D) filed a modest bill last week to create a one-year plant-based medicine policy review panel that would be tasked with studying the “use of plant-based medicines to support mental health,” according to a summary. The ballot campaign is not affiliated with that legislative effort.


Marijuana Moment is already 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.

“The policy review panel shall submit a report on its findings and policy recommendations to the House of Representatives Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, or any successor committees; the governor; and the Department of Human Services,” it says.

Meanwhile, legislative efforts to enact psychedelics reform are also underway in other states across the country.

For example, a bill to decriminalize a wide array of psychedelics in Virginia was taken up by a House of Delegates panel on Monday, only to be pushed off until 2023. But there’s still a separate but similar reform proposal that’s pending in the Senate.

Two Republican Oklahoma lawmakers recently filed bills meant to promote research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, and one of the measures would further decriminalize low-level possession of the psychedelic.

A GOP Utah lawmaker also introduced a bill last week that would set up a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their lawful use.

In Kansas, A lawmaker also recently filed a bill to legalize the low-level possession and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms.

A Republican Missouri lawmaker introduced a bill this month to give residents with serious illnesses legal access to a range of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, ibogaine and LSD  through an expanded version of the state’s existing right-to-try law.

California Sen. Scott Wiener (D) told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that his bill to legalize psychedelics possession stands a 50/50 chance of reaching the governor’s desk this year. It already cleared the full Senate and two Assembly committees during the first half of the two-year session.

In Michigan, a pair of state senators introduced a bill in September to legalize the possession, cultivation and delivery of various plant- and fungi-derived psychedelics like psilocybin and mescaline.

Washington State lawmakers¬†also introduced legislation this month¬†that would legalize what the bill calls ‚Äúsupported psilocybin experiences‚ÄĚ by adults 21 and older.

In Vermont, a broad coalition of lawmakers representing nearly a third of the House introduced a bill to decriminalize drug possession.

New Hampshire lawmakers filed measures to decriminalize psilocybin and all drugs.

Last year, the governor of Connecticut signed legislation that includes language requiring the state to carry out a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

At the congressional level, bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this month, urging that the agency allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an investigational treatment without the fear of federal prosecution.

Virginia House Committee Pushes Back Psychedelics Decriminalization Bill Until 2023, But Senate Proposal Still Pending

Photo courtesy of Dick Culbert.

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.
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Amazon Endorses GOP-Led Bill To Federally Legalize Marijuana

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Amazon, the second largest private employer in the U.S., is backing a Republican-led bill to federally legalize, tax and regulate marijuana.

The company’s public policy division said on Tuesday that it is “pleased to endorse” the legislation from Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who filed the States Reform Act in November as a middle-ground alternative to more scaled back GOP proposals and wide-ranging legalization bills that are being championed by Democrats.

“Like so many in this country, we believe it‚Äôs time to reform the nation‚Äôs cannabis policy and Amazon is committed to helping lead the effort,” the company, which previously expressed support for a separate, Democratic-led legalization bill, said.

Amazon has worked to adapt to changing marijuana policies internally as it’s backed congressional reform, enacting an employment policy change last year to end drug testing for cannabis for most workers, for example.

Months after making that change‚ÄĒand following the introduction of the States Reform Act‚ÄĒMace met with Amazon and received the company’s endorsement, Forbes reported.

‚ÄúThey don‚Äôt want to sell it,‚ÄĚ the freshman congresswoman said, adding that Amazon is primarily interested in backing the reform for hiring purposes instead of as a way to eventually sell cannabis. “It opens up the hiring pool by about 10 percent.‚ÄĚ

Brian Huseman, Amazon‚Äôs vice president of public policy, said the bill “offers comprehensive reform that speaks to the emergence of a bipartisan consensus to end the federal prohibition of cannabis.‚ÄĚ

Amazon’s drug testing decision was widely celebrated by reform advocates and industry stakeholders. Initially, the company only talked about ending the policy going forward. But it later disclosed that the policy change would also be retroactive, meaning former workers and applicants who were punished for testing positive for THC will have their employment eligibility restored.

The reason for the move away from marijuana testing was multifaceted, Amazon said at the time. The growing state-level legalization movement has made it ‚Äúdifficult to implement an equitable, consistent, and national pre-employment marijuana testing program,‚ÄĚ data shows that drug testing ‚Äúdisproportionately impacts people of color and acts as a barrier to employment‚ÄĚ and ending the requirement will widen the company‚Äôs applicant pool.

The GOP congresswoman’s bill already has the support of the influential, Koch-backed conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

The measure would end federal cannabis prohibition while taking specific steps to ensure that businesses in existing state markets can continue to operate unencumbered by changing federal rules.

Mace’s legislation has been characterized as an attempt to bridge a partisan divide on federal cannabis policy. It does that by incorporating certain equity provisions such as expungements for people with non-violent cannabis convictions and imposing an excise tax, revenue from which would support community reinvestment, law enforcement and Small Business Administration (SBA) activities.

Marijuana Moment first reported on an earlier draft version of the bill in November, and it quickly became apparent that industry stakeholders see an opportunity in the Republican-led effort.

The reason for that response largely comes down to the fact that there‚Äôs skepticism that Democratic-led legalization bills‚ÄĒincluding the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act that Amazon has also endorsed‚ÄĒwill be able to pass without GOP buy-in. While Democrats hold majorities in both chambers, in addition to controlling the White House, the margins for passage are slim.

The MORE Act did clear the House Judiciary Committee in September, and a previous version passed the full House during the last Congress. Senate leadership is preparing to file a separate legalization proposal after unveiling a draft version in July.

Virginia House Committee Pushes Back Psychedelics Decriminalization Bill Until 2023, But Senate Proposal Still Pending

Photo courtesy of Max Pixel.

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.
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Virginia House Committee Pushes Back Psychedelics Decriminalization Bill Until 2023, But Senate Proposal Still Pending

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A bill to decriminalize a wide array of psychedelics in Virginia was taken up by a House of Delegates panel on Monday, only to be pushed off until 2023. But there’s still a separate but similar reform proposal that’s pending in the Senate.

Advocates were hopeful that a House Courts of Justice subcommittee would advance the reform, especially after an amendment from the sponsor was adopted to more narrowly apply decriminalization to medical practitioners and people using psychedelics in treatment with a practitioner.

But following some discussion of Del. Dawn Adams’s (D) bill, members approved a motion to carry it over to next year to give the legislature more time to refine it and build support. It was a disappointment for activists, and there was particular surprise that the delay motion was made by House Minority Leader Charniele Herring (D)‚Äé, who is well known for championing marijuana legalization in the state.

Adams said in her opening remarks before the subcommittee that she has “spent considerable time hearing from researchers, meeting with both local and nationwide community advocates, speaking with veterans and personally reading dozens of publications and studies about the benefits of plant medicine.”

“What I’ve been able to learn is that there is strong evidence to support plant medicines‚ÄĒonce thought dangerous‚ÄĒthat really are effective and safe treatments,” she said.

There seemed to be some confusion among certain members about what the legislation would actually do.


Marijuana Moment is already 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.

One member asked whether doctors would be able to prescribe psychedelics and whether the state would “see peyote stores and psilocybin stores basically popping up.”

The bill as amended wouldn’t legalize psychedelics for medical or recreational use. It would simply make it so practitioners and people participating in psychedelics treatment would face a $100 fine for possessing peyote, ibogaine, psilocybin or psilocyn. Currently, such possession is considered a Class 5 felony.

Any dollars collected from psychedelics possession violations would go to the state’s Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund, which supports substance misuse treatment programs and drug courts.

But following testimony from advocates and researchers, Herring said that “there’s a lot of issues have been raised” and that she’d like to see a “prescription element” built into the legislation. Of course, because the psychedelics are federally controlled substances, doctors are precluded from prescribing them, but they could theoretically make recommendations, as is done in medical cannabis states.

In any case, the motion carried and that bill has now been set aside until next year. Now advocates are eager to see what happens with a separate, more limited reform measure that was considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

At that meeting, there was bipartisan support‚ÄĒincluding from the GOP minority leader‚ÄĒbut also talk about making the decriminalization proposal more medically focused. The sponsor, Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D), agreed to go back and make revisions so that the panel could reconsider it at a future meeting. The expectation was that it would be taken back up this week, but it’s not currently listed on the panel’s agenda for Wednesday.

The bill is scaled back compared to the House version because, as drafted, it would only decriminalize psilocybin and psilocyn by adults 21 and older. It’s unclear what kind of amendments the sponsor might offer when the committee takes up the legislation again.

At a recent virtual event organized by the reform group Decriminalize Nature Virginia, the sponsors of both bills participated as hosts, sharing their perspectives about the growing body of research indicating that psychedelics could be powerful tools to combat conditions like treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If the legislature does approve the legislation, it could face resistance from the state’s incoming Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, who has expressed concerns about implementing a commercial marijuana market in line with what the Democratic legislature and outgoing governor approved last year.

These psychedelics reform proposals are some of the latest to be introduced in state legislatures this session as the decriminalization movement spreads.

For example, two Republican Oklahoma lawmakers recently filed bills meant to promote research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, and one of the measures would further decriminalize low-level possession of the psychedelic.

A GOP Utah lawmaker also introduced a bill last week that would set up a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their lawful use.

In Kansas, A lawmaker also recently filed a bill to legalize the low-level possession and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms.

A Republican Missouri lawmaker introduced a bill this month to give residents with serious illnesses legal access to a range of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, ibogaine and LSD  through an expanded version of the state’s existing right-to-try law.

California Sen. Scott Wiener (D) told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that his bill to legalize psychedelics possession stands a 50/50 chance of reaching the governor’s desk this year. It already cleared the full Senate and two Assembly committees during the first half of the two-year session.

In Michigan, a pair of state senators introduced a bill in September to legalize the possession, cultivation and delivery of various plant- and fungi-derived psychedelics like psilocybin and mescaline.

Washington State lawmakers¬†also introduced legislation this month¬†that would legalize what the bill calls ‚Äúsupported psilocybin experiences‚ÄĚ by adults 21 and older.

In Vermont, a broad coalition of lawmakers representing nearly a third of the House introduced a bill to decriminalize drug possession.

New Hampshire lawmakers filed measures to decriminalize psilocybin and all drugs.

Last year, the governor of Connecticut signed legislation that includes language requiring the state to carry out a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

At the congressional level, bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this month, urging that the agency allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an investigational treatment without the fear of federal prosecution.

Oklahoma Republicans File Bills To Decriminalize Psilocybin And Encourage Research On Medical Benefits

Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo.

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.
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