Italy’s top court blocks marijuana and psilocybin referendum from passing voters


Oklahoma lawmakers on Wednesday approved in committee a bill to decriminalize low-level possession of psilocybin and promote research into the psychedelic’s therapeutic potential.

Rep. Daniel Pae’s (R) measure is one of two GOP-led psilocybin reform bills that were introduced in the Oklahoma House last month. The other is less ambitious in that it does not contain a decriminalization provision and is more focused in its search guidelines.

The House Public Health Committee approved Pae’s bill, HB 3414in a 7-2 vote.

The 26-year-old lawmaker’s proposal would make possession of up to one and a half ounces of psilocybin punishable by a $400 fine.

To streamline studies of the substance, the measure would explicitly allow research institutes to obtain psilocybin and use it for investigations into the effectiveness of treatment for 10 different conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD), severe depression and opioid use disorder.

Rep. Logan Phillips (R), the sponsor of the separate psilocybin research bill but worked on the committee-approved measure alongside Pae, discussed and answered questions about the legislation from his colleague on Wednesday . audience.

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“The number of veterans we have seen die every year, every day is astronomical. The goal is to see if this can be an alternative and an additional tool in the toolbox of therapists, mental health professionals, to deal with these issues,” Phillips said.

“Honestly, I served [in the military] for six years. Most of the people I served with committed suicide after they returned,” he said. “This treatment could have helped my soldiers, my friends, my colleagues – so it’s a passion for me to make sure we get to where we move the needle quickly to actually help these people.”

Eligible research institutes should obtain a license from the State Department of Health “for the purposes of cultivation, study, processing and/or distribution of psilocybin containing fungi or other naturally occurring source organisms, or ‘study, extraction, synthesis and/or dispensing of psilocybin or psilocin’, according to the text of the bill.

People participating in psilocybin clinical trials should receive written certification. Those who conduct unlicensed studies, participate in an uncertified trial, or otherwise act in violation of the bill by possessing psilocybin outside the research boundaries would be subject to a maximum fine of $400 without the threat of a prison sentence.

Before approving the bill, the panel passed a small amendment from the sponsor that concerns certification requirements for research institutions that go ahead with human clinical trials on the therapeutic efficacy of the entheogen.

Phillips’ other Oklahoma psychedelics research bill has yet to receive a committee hearing. While the lawmaker’s measure is smaller than Pae’s by excluding the decriminalization provision, Phillips told Marijuana Moment in a previous interview that he supports the policy change.

He also said he believes both measures “have a very good chance of being passed” by the conservative legislature, noting that a bill passed in Texas last year required the state to conduct studies. on psychedelics for veterans.

Under Phillips’ proposal, universities and research institutes would be permitted, through a statewide New Drug Discovery Program, to conduct studies of psilocybin’s therapeutic potential for veterans of the Oklahoma Army and National Guard who suffer from “major depressive disorder, severe depression, or any other form of depression or anxiety that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies .

The studies would still need to be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

If studies facilitated by his or Pae’s bill show therapeutic value for psilocybin, Phillips said he could “absolutely” see an opportunity to expand reform by establishing a medical program for psychedelics in the US. Oklahoma similar to what Oregon voters approved. in 2020, which is being actively implemented.

This latest committee development in Oklahoma is just the latest example of state lawmakers riding the wave of local decriminalization efforts that have unfolded across the country.

Just last week, a Hawaii Senate committee approved a bill to create a state task force to study the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and develop a “long-term” plan to ensure that the psychedelic is accessible for medical purposes to adults 21 years of age and older. .

The Utah House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill last week to create a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their use. legal use.

A group of Maryland senators recently introduced a bill that would create a state fund that could be used to provide free access to psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine to military veterans with stress disorder. (PTSD), while supporting research into their therapeutic potential.

A Republican lawmaker in Missouri introduced a bill last 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 existing law. of the state on the right to try.

A bill to decriminalize a wide range of psychedelic substances in Virginia was considered by a House of Delegates panel last month, only to be pushed back until 2023. A separate Senate proposal to decriminalize psilocybin alone has then rejected by a key committee.

California Senator Scott Wiener (D) told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that his bill to legalize possession of psychedelics has a 50/50 chance of reaching the governor’s office this year. He has already authorized the entire Senate and two Assembly committees during the first half of the two-year session.

Washington state lawmakers also introduced legislation last month that would legalize what the bill calls “supported psilocybin experiments” by adults 21 and older.

New Hampshire lawmakers have tabled measures to decriminalize psilocybin and all drugs.

Last year, Connecticut’s governor signed a law that includes language requiring the state to conduct a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

Similar legislation was also enacted by the Texas legislature, requiring the state to study the medical risks and benefits of psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine for veterans in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and a military medical center.

Activists in Colorado recently filed revised versions of 2022 ballot initiatives to similarly legalize psilocybin and establish “healing centers” in the state. A competing campaign filed another legalization of psychedelics last month.

Michigan activists filed a statewide ballot initiative this month that would legalize the possession, cultivation and sharing of psychedelics and establish a system for their therapeutic and spiritual use.

A pair of Michigan senators also introduced a bill in September to legalize the possession, cultivation and delivery of an array of plant and mushroom-derived psychedelics like psilocybin and mescaline.

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

Bill to create state-run marijuana stores in New Hampshire approved by House

Photo courtesy of Dick Culbert.

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