Congress keeps DC marijuana sales ban in place, but continues to protect states from medical cannabis in spending legislation
The Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to decriminalize low-level possession of psilocybin and promote research into the psychedelic’s therapeutic potential, sending it to the Senate.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Pae (R), cleared the chamber in a 62-30 vote. This comes a month after the measure advanced by the House Public Health Committee.
The bill is one of two GOP-led psilocybin reform measures that were introduced in the Oklahoma House in January. The other is less ambitious in that it does not contain a decriminalization provision and is more focused in its search guidelines.
However, a decision to enact an emergency clause to make Pae’s legislation effective immediately came two votes before passing the House. It will now go into effect within 180 days of being signed into law if the Senate follows suit and the bill is signed by the governor.
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The 26-year-old lawmaker’s proposal would make possession of up to one and a half ounces of psilocybin punishable by a $400 fine. An amendment was passed on the floor, but it was technical in nature and simply meant to ‘clean up the language’ at the request of state health officials Rep. Logan Phillips (R), the sponsor of the bill separate law on psilocybin research that worked with Pae on complementary legislation, said on the floor.
To streamline studies on the substance, Pae’s measure would explicitly allow research institutes to obtain psilocybin and use it for investigations into the effectiveness of treatment for ten different conditions, including post-stress stress disorder. trauma (PTSD), severe depression and opioid use disorder.
“HB3414 is a chance for Oklahoma to do something about the number of suicides among our veterans and others with mental health issues not helped by other treatments,” said Chris Moe, an attorney who worked to build support for the bill on Capitol Hill. Marijuana time.
“It’s great to see it come through the State House, as they learn how it can help their constituents,” he said. “I look forward to helping educate the state senate and working to get this passed to the governor’s office.” This is a chance for Oklahoma to help lead the nation in mental health treatment.
Eligible research institutes should obtain a license from the State Department of Health “for the purposes of cultivation, study, processing and/or distribution of psilocybin containing fungi or other naturally occurring source organisms, or ‘study, extraction, synthesis and/or dispensing of psilocybin or psilocin’, according to the text of the bill.
People participating in psilocybin clinical trials should receive written certification. Those who conduct unlicensed studies, participate in an uncertified trial, or otherwise act in violation of the bill by possessing psilocybin outside the research boundaries would be subject to a maximum fine of $400 without the threat of a prison sentence.
Phillips’ other Oklahoma psychedelics research bill has yet to receive a committee hearing. While the lawmaker’s measure is smaller than Pae’s by excluding the decriminalization provision, Phillips told Marijuana Moment in a previous interview that he supports the policy change.
He also said he believes both measures “have a very good chance of being passed” by the conservative legislature, noting that a bill passed in Texas last year required the state to conduct studies. on psychedelics for veterans.
Under Phillips’ proposal, universities and research institutes would be permitted, through a statewide New Drug Discovery Program, to conduct studies of psilocybin’s therapeutic potential for veterans of the Oklahoma Army and National Guard who suffer from “major depressive disorder, severe depression, or any other form of depression or anxiety that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies .
The studies would still need to be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
If studies facilitated by his or Pae’s bill show therapeutic value for psilocybin, Phillips said he could “absolutely” see an opportunity to expand reform by establishing a medical program for psychedelics in the US. Oklahoma similar to what Oregon voters approved. in 2020, which is being actively implemented.
This latest House vote in Oklahoma is just the latest example of state lawmakers riding the wave of local decriminalization efforts that have unfolded across the country.
For example, Rhode Island lawmakers last week introduced two drug decriminalization bills, including one focused on psilocybin and buprenorphine that would allow doctors to prescribe the psychedelic mushroom.
Also last week, a Republican lawmaker in Missouri introduced a bill that would legalize a wide range of psychedelics for therapeutic use in designated care facilities while further decriminalizing low-level possession generally.
Last month, Utah lawmakers sent a bill to the governor that would create a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their legal use.
Also last month, a second Hawaii Senate committee approved a bill to create a state task force to study the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and develop a “long-term” plan to ensure the psychedelic is available for medical use for adults 21 years and older. older.
An Oregon Senate committee also recently introduced a bill to ensure fairness is built into the state’s landmark psilocybin therapeutic program that is being actively implemented after voter approval in 2020.
A group of Maryland senators recently introduced a bill that would create a state fund that could be used to provide free access to psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine to military veterans with stress disorder. (PTSD), while supporting research into their therapeutic potential.
A bill to decriminalize a wide range of psychedelic substances in Virginia was considered by a House of Delegates panel in January, only to be pushed back until 2023. A separate Senate proposal to decriminalize psilocybin alone went on to was rejected by a key committee.
California Senator Scott Wiener (D) told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that his bill to legalize possession of psychedelics has a 50/50 chance of reaching the governor’s office this year. He has already authorized the entire Senate and two Assembly committees during the first half of the two-year session.
Washington state lawmakers also introduced legislation in January that would legalize what the bill calls “supported psilocybin experiments” by adults 21 and older.
New Hampshire lawmakers have tabled measures to decriminalize psilocybin and all drugs.
Last year, Connecticut’s governor signed a law that includes language requiring the state to conduct a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.
Similar legislation was also enacted by the Texas legislature, requiring the state to study the medical risks and benefits of psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine for veterans in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and a military medical center.
Colorado officials last week approved the language of two other psychedelics reform initiatives from the same campaign that have already taken that procedural step for two separate measures they submitted late last year. A competing campaign filed another legalization of psychedelics last month.
Last month, activists in Michigan filed a statewide ballot initiative that would legalize the possession, cultivation and sharing of psychedelics and establish a system for their therapeutic and spiritual use.
A pair of Michigan senators also introduced a bill in September to legalize the possession, cultivation and delivery of an array of plant and mushroom-derived psychedelics like psilocybin and mescaline.
At the congressional level, bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last month urging the agency to allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an experimental treatment without fear of federal prosecution.
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