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Hawaii Could Legalize Psychedelic Mushroom Therapy Under New Senate Bill

Hawaii Psychedelic TherapyHawaii could legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms for therapy under a newly filed bill in the state legislature. The measure, if approved, would direct the state Department of Health to “establish designated treatment centers for the therapeutic administration of psilocybin and psilocin,” two psychoactive substances produced by certain fungi.
It would also remove the two compounds from the state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances and create a seven-person psilocybin review panel to assess the impacts of the policy change. Few other specifics are provided in the bill, SB 738, introduced in the state Senate on Friday. It doesn’t specify who would qualify for the therapy, for example, or how precisely the drugs, which remain federally illegal, would be administered. The legislation simply says the Department of Health “shall adopt rules” in accordance with state law.
Attempts to Legalize Medicinal UseThe new legislation comes less than a year after Hawaii lawmakers introduced bills to begin studying the therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms with the goal of eventually legalizing them, though those measures did not advance.
Entheogens, including other substances like ayahuasca and ibogaine, have emerged as a promising treatment for severe depression, anxiety and other conditions, although research remains ongoing. In November, voters in Oregon approved a ballot measure to legalize psilocybin therapy that the state is now in the process of implementing. The new Hawaii bill was introduced by Sens. Stanley Chang, Laura Clint Acasio, Les Ihara Jr. and Maile Shimabukuro, all Democrats. It has not yet been scheduled for a hearing, according to the state legislature’s website.
Beyond Marijuana ReformThe Hawaii proposal is one of a growing number of broader reform bills to have been introduced across the country this year as the debate on drug policy moves beyond marijuana. A measure introduced in New York earlier this month would remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of any controlled substance, instead imposing a $50 fine. Similar measures are expected to be introduced in California and Washington State this year.
A Florida lawmaker recently announced plans to introduce legislation to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes in the state. Lawmakers in New Jersey last month sent a bill to Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that would reduce criminal charges for the possession of psilocybin, but so far Murphy hasn’t signed the measure. Voters, meanwhile, have been broadly supportive of drug reform measures in recent years.
In addition to the psilocybin measure, Oregon voters in November also approved an initiative to decriminalize possession of all drugs. Washington, D.C. voters overwhelmingly enacted a proposal to decriminalize the possession of psychedelics. Despite the growing discussion of drug reform at state houses across the country, some high-profile advocates are setting their sights on the 2022 election. 
Dr. Bronner’s CEO David Bronner, a key financial backer of successful reform efforts in Oregon, told last month that he’s expecting both Washington state and Colorado voters will see decriminalization or psilocybin therapy on their 2022 ballots. Meanwhile, a new advocacy group is pushing Congress to allocate $100 million to support research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
Additional Resources:At The Weed Blog, we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis or other edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis:
Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Alcohol Intake Among Treatment-Seeking Drinkers
Biden Taps Marijuana Legalization Supporter To Lead Democratic National Committee
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Originally Published on 2021 02 09 by Brodie Kush | The Weed Blog


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