March 20, 2023 08:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
Alternative medicine is becoming more widely acknowledged and practiced than ever before, opening the door for therapies like psychedelics to enter the world of mainstream healthcare. One psychedelic that’s been getting a whole lot of attention lately is psilocybin, an active ingredient in mushroom species that are often called “magic mushrooms.”
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelicprodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of fungi.Using psilocybin in small doses, or microdosing, has been shown to aid in the treatment of various mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other positive benefits of psilocybin reported improved mood, less fear of the future, increased sense of spirituality and connection, and enhanced quality of life.
The use of magic mushrooms is nothing new. Historians date the use of magic mushrooms back to the 16th century. Psilocybin therapy is both studied and used by highly legitimate medical establishments. In the United States, psilocybin was federally regulated and banned by the Drug Abuse Control Amendments of 1965 and is classified as a Schedule I drug.
Johns Hopkins University first received regulatory approval for psychedelic research in the year 2000. In 2006, the first research paper by Johns Hopkins was published on the positive long-term impact of using psilocybin in a therapeutic study.
Psilocybin Policies Around the Nation
Let’s explore where psilocybin is legal, decriminalized, and on the ballot across U.S. states.
Colorado and Oregon are the only states allowing legal therapeutic psilocybin use today. Both Colorado and Oregon allow patients to take psilocybin under the supervision of regulated and licensed “healing centers.”
Colorado has a wider range of psilocybin use. Colorado Proposition 122 approves the statewide personal use of psychedelic mushrooms for Colorado adults 21 years or older. The “Natural Medicine Health Act” also opens the door for Colorado to open its own state-regulated “healing centers” to help provide psychedelic therapy for those experiencing mental health problems.
Decriminalization does not mean psilocybin is legal. Instead, it essentially makes arrests for psilocybin the lowest priority for law enforcement. While decriminalization decreases the negative impact of legal issues, it does not provide accessible, safe, and regulated psilocybin for those seeking treatment.
On the Ballot
Some states are actively considering the legalization of psilocybin and other psychedelics.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill (HB 5506) to fund psychedelic therapy. The state bill would start the process of legalizing centers for veterans and first responders to receive psilocybin and MDMA (a synthetic psychedelic) to treat mental health conditions like PTSD.
Florida presented two bills (SB 348 and HB 193). If passed, these bills would allow Florida researchers to study alternative treatments for mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD using psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA.
Illinois lawmakers presented a bill called the “Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act.” This would allow the legalization of psilocybin by removing it from the state’s list of controlled substances and creating an advisory board to make recommendations on psilocybin therapeutic services. This bill would also facilitate expungements for people with certain psilocybin-related convictions on their records.
Maryland presented a bill that would create a $1 million fund to study alternative treatments for treating PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in military veterans.
Apply For Your Medical Marijuana Card Today
Veriheal has satisfied hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide
Get approved or your money back
Appointments available on-demand
Customer support available 24/7
Rep. Andy Smith (D) stated that he is “working on a bill forming a psychedelic medicine task force so Minnesotans can access these life-affirming treatments. For decades scientific research into the positive effects of psychedelic medicine has been muzzled by the ‘war on drugs,’ but that is [starting] to change.” Smith cited results from clinical trials showing that MDMA holds promise in the treatment of PTSD.
Rep. Tony Lovasco’s psychedelics bill aims to provide therapeutic access to psilocybin for people with severe mental health conditions in the coming days. Lovasco said his forthcoming legislation had been modified from a broader version he introduced last year with input from a key committee. Last March, the earlier bill received a hearing in the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee but did not advance.
In Montana, two pieces of psychedelics reform legislation are being drafted for introduction in the 2023 session in Montana. One would legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use in the treatment of PTSD and other mental health conditions, according to a description. The other would be more incremental, mandating an interim study about providing access to psychedelics for medical use.
In 2021, state lawmakers proposed a legalization bill for adult possession of natural psychedelics. New York lawmakers recently pre-filed a bill for 2023 to legalize certain psychedelics like psilocybin and ibogaine for adults 21 and older. This year, Linda Rosenthal (D) is sponsoring the legislation, which would amend state statutes to make legal the “possession, use, cultivation, production, creation, analysis, gifting, exchange, or sharing by or between natural persons of twenty-one years of age or older of a natural plant or fungus-based hallucinogen.”
New Jersey Senate introduced a bill that would legalize psilocybin to treat certain disorders. A bill filed by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D) last year that’s been carried over into 2023 would legalize the possession, home cultivation, and gifting of psilocybin mushrooms for adults 21 and older.
In March 2022, Oklahoma state representatives presented a bill that, if approved, would allow clinical trials on psychedelics “in relation to depression, anxiety, opioid use disorder, and dementia.”
This year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) allowed a bill (HB 1802) authorizing the study of psilocybin to become law without his signature. This bill authorized a psychedelic study “on the use of alternative therapies for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.”
In March 2022, Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill to create a task force to study the “therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their lawful use.” Unfortunately, this bill did not pass.
There are multiple psychedelics proposals on the table for 2023. This includes a bill aimed at providing access to psilocybin for therapeutic use. This legislation from Del. Dawn Adams (D) would allow for the possession of psilocybin for people who’ve received a prescription or “order” from a health professional to treat “refractory depression or post-traumatic stress disorder or to ameliorate end-of-life anxiety.”
In January 2022, state legislators submitted a bill, the “Washington Psilocybin Wellness and Opportunity Act” (SB 5560), that would legalize the adult use of psilocybin for people 21 years or older.
Anna Schwartz completed her master's degree in public health with a focus on harm reduction. She is passionate about cannabis education and eliminating misinformation through data-driven research. Anna loves spending her free time in the great outdoors!
Blunts: What are they exactly, and how do they affect your body? If you’re interested in smoking blunts—or already smoke them—this guide is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this popular cannabis intake method, including how they’re made, how they differ from spliffs and joints, risks of use, and alternative intake…
“Stoned,” “high,” “tripping,” and “baked,” are all terms engrained in the cannabis community. These metaphorical descriptions contribute to how we perceive, interpret, and learn from the experiences produced by cannabis consumption. Cannabis experiences, of course, are unique and highly variable. Specific plant strains, the presence of other cannabinoids, different delivery methods, and a user’s individual…
Thanks to the growing wave of legalization, more consumers than ever can grow their own cannabis right at home. Growing essentials that used to be secretive are now bought and sold freely. This includes items, like grow tents, nutrients, LED lighting, HPS lighting, ventilation, and more. Keeping all these items straight is hard enough, but…
Skin diseases plague millions of individuals, inflicting both physical discomforts in addition to mental and social stress. Thankfully, there is no shortage of skin treatment options available on the market. That said, this established market may soon be in for a major shake-up if recent cannabis research is any indication. Traditionally, cannabis research focused on studying…
As more states move toward legalization, accurately detecting impaired driving is of the utmost importance. Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) have long been the go-to method for law enforcement to assess driver impairment caused by substances like alcohol. However, a recent 2023 study published in JAMA Psychiatry raises serious questions about the accuracy of these tests…
The statements made regarding cannabis products on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cannabis is not an FDA-approved substance and is still illegal under federal law. The information provided on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. We strongly recommend that you consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare provider before using any cannabis products. The use of any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk.