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The ‘Most Conservative’ Massachusetts GOP Lawmaker Files Three Psychedelics Reform Bills, Including Measure To Legalize



A Republican Massachusetts lawmaker has filed three new psychedelics reform bills, including proposals to legalize substances like psilocybin and reschedule MDMA pending federal approval while setting a price cap on therapeutic access.

The measures from Rep. Nicholas Boldyga (R), who describes himself as the “most conservative” member of the legislature, are the latest examples of psychedelics reforms that lawmakers in the state are pursuing this session.

“People are suffering from debilitating mental health issues such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, and depression,” Boldyga said in a press release on Tuesday. “These psychedelic compounds and plant medicines are offering hope and healing to those that were once hopeless.”

“Plant medicines have been used for thousands of years by various cultures around the world, they truly are revolutionizing how we approach mental health and wellbeing,” he said.

Here’s what the lawmaker’s psychedelics bills would accomplish: 

HB 3589

The legislation would legalize the possession, cultivation and gifting of up to two grams of psilocybin, ibogaine, DMT and mescaline for adults 21 and older.

Boldyga said that the reform is “about ending unjust laws and expanding legal access to lifesaving plant medicines,” adding that it’s important to take a non-commercial approach and not view legalization as a revenue generator.

HB 3605

This bill would legalize psilocybin for adults 18 and older through a regulated model, similar to the system that Oregon is implementing. People could access the psychedelic at licensed facilities for “therapeutic, spiritual, and medicinal purposes.”

Regulators would also be authorized to license independent schools to train facilitators on how to effectively administer psilocybin.

“H3605 is once again about providing safe and legal access to a substance that is already saving lives and helping people heal from trauma and debilitating mental health issues throughout the world,” Boldyga said.

HB 3574

Under this proposal, MDMA would be automatically rescheduled and made available for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it.

Further, it would set a cap of $5,000 per session using MDMA to prevent price gouging.

“I share similar concerns among grassroots advocates about access, affordability, and the over-corporatization of psychedelic compounds and plant medicines,” the sponsor said.

“I look forward to working with advocates and others to do everything we can to deliver this lifesaving therapy to as many people as possible suffering from PTSD,” he said.

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.

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James Davis of the advocacy group Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, which assisted in crafting the legislation, said that the bill represents “a huge win for affordability.”

“We must ensure this care is affordable and innovative, not exclusive,” Davis said.

Boldyga said that it’s “time we flip the script and end the insanity.”

“Locking people away in jail for using plant medicines that have been used by other cultures for thousand of years, is a travesty of the failed medical and criminal justice system of this country,” he said. “I wasn’t elected to serve the interests of ‘Big Pharma’ who have spent decades actively lobbying the government to keep these plant medicines illegal and using propaganda to spread misinformation to create dangerous stigmas around them.”

Meanwhile, there are several other pieces of psychedelics legislation that have been introduced in Massachusetts for the session by other lawmakers, including separate measures to legalize certain entheogenic substances for adults.

Another bill would authorize the Department of Public Health to conduct a comprehensive study into the potential therapeutic effects of synthetic psychedelics like MDMA.

Massachusetts has become a hotbed for psychedelics reform, both locally and at the state level, over recent years.

Several cities—including SomervilleCambridgeEasthampton and Northampton—have moved to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi. An effort to enact the reform in Amherst stalled out last year.

In the legislature, Rep. Mike Connolly (D) filed a bill in 2021 that received a Joint Judiciary Committee hearing on studying the implications of legalizing entheogenic substances like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

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Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo.

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