New York Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Psilocybin

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A new bill introduced in the New York State legislature on Monday proposes to decriminalize psilocybin —the primary psychoactive component of magic mushrooms— and psilocin in the Empire State.

Sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D), legislation A6065 would remove two psychedelic substances — psilocybin and psilocin — from the restrictions imposed on them by New York State drug laws. ‘With the opportunity to positively affect the lives of millions suffering [from] mental health and addiction issues, this bill will decriminalize psilocybin and allow further research into the study of the drug and its beneficial uses for treatment,’ it reads. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Health Committee.

As a ‘Justification’ to the amendment, the legislation referred to the ongoing clinical trials to treat severe depression by Compass Pathways, and the benefits of the medicine in treating end-of-life distress in palliative patients. ‘Many cities, including Denver, CO, Santa Cruz, CA, and Oakland, CA, have already decriminalized the use and possession of psilocybin,’ the bill states, emphasizing, ‘New York should do the same.’

Assemblywoman Rosenthal introduced a similar bill to allow personal use of psilocybin in May 2020, which failed to make it past the committee. While similar, the new bill has slight changes in its language and also includes psilocin.

Another act to decriminalize possession of controlled substances, introduced by Sen. Gustavo Rivera earlier this year, is currently being reviewed by the Senate Codes Committee. The Senate bill is an extended proposal to ‘eliminate criminal and civil penalties for possession of controlled substances’. It also suggests establishing a drug decriminalization task force. 

Elsewhere, the ongoing drug policy reform movement continues to gain momentum, as local and state lawmakers introduce similar reforms aimed at decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi, and ending the opioid-overdose crisis and the decades-long War on Drugs. 

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Washington D.C. will soon implement its Initiative 81 as the required Congressional Review period approaches its deadline on March 19. Another Massachusetts city, Northampton, will be going to a council vote to decriminalize simple possession. A decision in the affirmative would make it the third such city in Massachusetts to do so after Somerville and Cambridge

In February, state legislators from California, Texas, Massachusetts, Kansas, Washington State, and Iowa all filed like-minded bills, with some aiming to decriminalize all drugs —or just entheogens— while others look to create frameworks for legal psychedelic-assisted therapies, or to allow state health authorities to study the benefits of psychedelic substances. 

Could #psilocybin ease the pain of rare, debilitating SUNHA headaches? UK drug developer @BeckleyPsytech has a clinical trial underway as part of its investigations into psychedelic treatments for neurological disorders.

Read the full article here:

"There is still some prejudice in academic circles against #psychedelic science," explains Marcelo Leite, Ph.D., "but it has been slowly eroded by the flurry of impeccable research being published in the field."

Read the full article in the #MAPSBulletin:

#Harvard Law Today covers the launch of the Project on #Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR) at @Harvard_Law School's @PetrieFlom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics.

Check out the event highlights and recordings!

"LSD shows you that there's another side to the coin, and you can't remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important — creating great things instead of making money."

- Steve Jobs

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