February 18, 2024

Ten Psychedelic Bills Introduced Across State Legislatures

The days of psychedelic drugs – psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood, and cognitive processes – being considered recreational substances may soon end.

Ongoing clinical research has shown that psychedelics such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), MDMA (known as ecstasy or molly), ketamine, and others have the potential to treat mental illnesses, including treatment resistant depression, major depressive disorder, and PTSD.

It appears that state legislatures across the nation have taken these latest developments in earnest, as so far ten states have introduced bills to advance psychedelic therapy within their jurisdictions. If passed, they would join Colorado and Oregon, which both passed laws to allow for psychedelic therapy.

Alaska House Bill 228 would create a task force to assess the potential use of psychedelic medicine in addressing the state’s ongoing mental health crisis, including the recommended licensing and insurance requirements for practitioners in the state, in the event psychedelics are federally reclassified and approved by the FDA.

Arizona House Bill 2274 would allow firefighters and peace officers diagnosed with PTSD from line-of-duty incidents to receive MDMA-assisted therapy. The bill would require employer coverage of MDMA-assisted therapy.

California Senate Bill 1012 would allow for the creation of psychedelic service centers where adults aged 21 and older could receive psychedelic therapy under the supervision of special therapists. While the bill does not list specific qualifying conditions to receive psychedelic therapy, the bill would not remove criminal penalties for possession of psychedelics outside these specialized service centers. Noted psychedelics included in this bill were psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, and MDMA.

Hawaii Senate Bill 3019 would allow for the therapeutic use of psilocybin by patients with debilitating mental health conditions, limiting psilocybin to a max of 5 grams per session. Debilitating mental health conditions under this law would include PTSD, treatment-resistant depression or major depressive disorder, end-of-life anxiety, existential stress and demoralization, anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders, addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, and any other mental health condition approved by the Department of Health pursuant to administrative rules adopted in response to a request from a potential qualifying patient or licensed mental health professional.

Illinois Senate Bill 3695 would regulate psilocybin and psilocin for the treatment of PTSD, depression, end-of-life anxiety, and other challenging mental health disorders. If passed the bill would decriminalize the possession of psilocybin and psilocin, and establish a program to provide safe, legal, and regulated access to psychedelic therapy for mental health treatment.

Indiana Senate Bill 139 would establish a therapeutic psilocybin research fund administered by the Indiana Department of Health, which would provide financial assistance to research institutions with the state to study the use of psilocybin to treat mental health and other medical conditions.

Maryland House Bill 548 would establish a Task Force on Responsible Use of Natural Psychedelic Substances to study and make recommendations related to the use of natural psychedelic substances. By December 15, 2025, the task force would need to submit a report to the Governor and legislature with findings and recommendations, including a recommendation for creating a Natural Psychedelic Permit for regulated access to psilocybin, DMT, or mescaline.

Massachusetts House Bill 4255 would regulate and tax psychedelic substances. This bill would create a natural psychedelic substances commission, along with a natural psychedelic substances advisory board to study and make recommendations to the commission on the regulation and taxation of natural psychedelic substances.

New Jersey Senate Bill 2283 would authorize the production and use of psilocybin to promote health and wellness. Essentially, the bill would establish blanket legalization for medical or recreational use. Additionally, this bill would decriminalize the use of psilocybin by adults aged 21 and older and expunge past and pending offenses involving psilocybin. New Jersey residents would be able to grow their own psilocybin mushrooms for personal use in their homes.

Wisconsin Senate Bill 727 would create a medicinal psilocybin treatment fund and pilot program to study the effects of medicinal psilocybin treatment on patients with PTSD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and make an appropriation.

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