A New York State lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow the research and medical use of psilocybin, while establishing facilities to grow magic mushrooms for patients.
Introduced by Assemblyman Pat Burke (D) on Monday, the bill says that establishing a “widespread route to provide New Yorkers with this medical treatment would be a monumental step in providing mental health care to improve lives,” similar to reforms in Oregon and Texas.
The legislation notes that mental health issues can cause physical health to deteriorate, resulting in performance deficits on tasks, and increasing rates of suicide. “Psilocybin therapy is a breakthrough avenue for providing people with treatment for these ailments,” it says.
If passed, patients other than those with terminal illnesses along with “designated caregivers” seeking psilocybin treatment would be given identification cards which expire after a year.
Under the proposed framework, the New York State Department of Health would analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of medical use of psilocybin. A new psilocybin advisory board would be added under the health department that would regulate medical psilocybin use (preparation, administration, and integration), psilocybin service centers, and safe supply for the federally-controlled substance.
The board’s purview would be to make “recommendations to the health department regarding available medical, psychological, scientific studies and research, specifications and guidelines for providing services, safety standards, industry best practices, code of professional conduct, education, training, and examination for facilitators, production, and a long term strategic plan for services.”
Therapy centers, the lawmakers said in the justification of the bill, “would offer a safe physical environment supervised by trained monitors to negate the minimal risk involved with psilocybin.”
If passed, the bill will also establish a psilocybin research body for investigating the substance and conduct clinical studies on its efficacy and safety.
A $2 million fund would also be created for veterans, firefighters, police officers, and first responders seeking financial support for treatment.
“Our first responders expose themselves to potential trauma on a daily basis to keep us safe and well. Ensuring their access to this treatment demonstrates our reciprocity to keep them safe and well,” the bill says.
The bill has been referred to the Assembly Health Committee.
This is the third bill in the New York legislature on psychedelic reform this year. In March, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D) filed a bill to decriminalize psilocybin and psilocin in New York.
In June, Rosenthal had filed another bill to establish a research board for studying psychedelic substances for the treatment of mental healthcare issues. Both bills are still in the state health committee.