The year 2023 began for the US with a veritable wave of regional projects to decriminalize or regulate the production and use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. If last year, only two states discussed such an initiative, then by the beginning of this year, projects aimed at such reforms had already been submitted to the legislative assemblies of 10 regions of the country. By the start of the week, the number had increased by three more as psilocybin reform bills entered the parliaments of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma.
In Connecticut, a similar bill, or rather its basic developments, was presented to the state parliament on behalf of Michelle Cook, a member of the Democratic Party. He suggests that consideration be given to establishing a highly regulated market for psilocybin in the region, which would be used in a strictly controlled clinical setting under the supervision of specialists. More specifically, the bill proposes first launching a limited reform test to explore the nuances of the practical application of this kind of therapy before expanding the program to the size of a full-fledged market. At the moment, the project is at the earliest stage of consideration, namely, in the committee on health issues and other special instances of the regional parliament.
In turn, Massachusetts politicians propose to fully legalize the purchase and use of psilocybin for all residents and visitors to the state aged 18 years and older. This project is sponsored by Senator Patricia Jehlen and MP Lindsay Sabadosa, as well as a regional activist group, Massachusetts Free Access to Psychedelic Medicine (BSNM). The text of the draft states that in addition to legalizing the sale and use of psilocybin, the bill will also completely decriminalize the substance and products containing it. Accordingly, it turns out that any resident of the state will be able to legally purchase spores of psilocybin mushrooms for their personal production at home. Also, the text of the bill emphasizes the legality of donating and transferring psilocybin and products containing it to other persons aged 18 years and older. Of course, in addition to this, it is proposed to create a regulated market system for such products throughout the state, which will also be supported by public clinics, where all those in need can access psychedelic therapy by prescription. It is worth noting that a number of cities in Massachusetts, in particular Somerville, Cambridge, Easthampton and Northampton, passed laws last year to locally decriminalize psilocybin and its use.
Finally, the most unexpected addition to the list was the conservative state of Oklahoma, where an initiative to launch a psilocybin therapeutic trial program was introduced to Parliament by Republican MP Daniel Pae. This project proposes to allow state universities and medical institutions to conduct their own clinical research programs on psilocybin, of course, under the strict supervision of a special commission under the Ministry of Health of the region. In particular, the bill refers to indications from US Sanitary Service clinical trials demonstrating the high efficacy of the substance in the treatment of PTSD and other stress disorders, proposing the establishment of a local research program studying the effectiveness of the substance in this direction. In addition, the bill suggests that the substance could also be tested as a treatment for depressive disorders, OCD, chronic neurological pain, and palliative care. Subsequently, based on the results of these tests, as well as those of the public health service, the state will decide whether psilocybin should be regulated or decriminalized. In fact, the text of the bill states that it will allow the production and use of psilocybin only by authorized physicians and their testers. Otherwise, state laws strictly prohibiting the manufacture, sale, use, and possession of psilocybin will continue to operate as before.
In addition, bills with similar reform proposals have appeared in parliament in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, and Oregon. In the case of Colorado and Oregon, bills like this will simply clarify and expand the substance regulation systems already enacted last year. In the case of other regions, such initiatives will be considered for the first time. Of course, most likely not all of these projects will be accepted, but the very fact of their submission is a fairly clear signal confirming the interest of the US public in the legalization of psilocybin, as well as the willingness of politicians, including those in fairly conservative states, to conduct an open dialogue about the possibility of holding these reforms.