As the psychedelic decriminalization movement continues to gain momentum in the U.S., Iowa became the latest state to introduce a bill for de-scheduling psilocybin as a controlled substance on February 9.
Introduced by lawmaker Jeff Shipley (R), Bill 459 aims at “removing psilocybin and psilocin from the list of substances classified as Schedule I controlled substances under Iowa’s uniform controlled substances act.”
This bill is the third attempt by the same Representative at decriminalizing certain psychedelics in the state. In 2019, Rep. Shipley unsuccessfully introduced a bill proposing the reclassification of psilocybin, MDMA, and ibogaine for medical use. In another attempt in 2020, the lawmaker suggested an amendment to the state budget bill, de-scheduling psilocybin and psilocin from Iowa’s list of prohibited substances. The proposal was rejected by 17-76 votes in the House.
Iowa is now the fourth state to introduce a psychedelic reform bill in the state legislature. The Iowa bill is currently under the consideration of the House Public Safety Committee.
Representative Shipley also plans on introducing a separate bill modeled on the “Right to Try Act”, Marijuana Moment reports. Right To Try was enacted nationally by former President Donald Trump in 2018, allowing palliative patients access to drugs that are unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Multiple attempts have been made at legalizing or decriminalizing restricted substances from both Republicans and Democrats in Iowa. In 2016, Democrats raised a plank calling for “legalization of all drugs”, however, it was toned down in following years after failing to gain support.
There has been a growing movement to decriminalize the use of entheogenic plants, and in some cases, the possession of all drugs across the United States. While Denver, Colorado initiated the process, the decriminalization movement gained further impetus during the November elections when Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy and decriminalize possession of all drugs. So far, at least six cities, including Washington D.C., have stepped up to reform their drug policies.
Ritika is a Toronto-based reporter. She writes about drug policies and developments in psychedelics.