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A bipartisan coalition of Georgia lawmakers has tabled a resolution calling for the formation of a House study committee to investigate the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin and make recommendations for reform.
The resolution, sponsored by House Appropriations Public Safety Subcommittee Chairman Bill Hitchens (R), begins with a section that addresses the need for effective treatments for major depressive disorder and post-stress disorder. -traumatic for veterans.
The Emory Healthcare Veterans Program located in the state has “experience in both veterans and psychedelic treatment, and studies show substantial evidence that supports psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of depressive disorders”, indicates the text.
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He also notes that “current research on psilocybin trials excludes patients with a history of substance abuse, and research further indicates that psilocybin therapy may enhance sobriety-focused psychotherapy for addiction.”
There is no explicit reference to specific studies that the proposed House Study Committee on Alternative Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Resources for Veterans would be tasked with exploring; instead, the measure states that members “shall undertake a study of the conditions, needs, questions and problems mentioned above or relating thereto and recommend such action or legislation as the committee deems necessary or appropriate.”
The new five-person committee would include the chairman of the House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee, two members appointed by the Speaker of the House, one of whom would be named chairman of the study committee, and two members of the State Department of Veterans Affairs.
Rep. Heath Clark (R), who chairs the House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee, is a cosponsor of the new bill, as is Rep. Josh Bonner (R), who serves as a leader for Gov. Brian Kemp (R) . The measure has been referred to Clark’s panel but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
“In the event that the committee adopts specific findings or recommendations including suggestions for proposed legislation, the Chair shall table a report thereon by the abolition date specified in this resolution,” the resolution reads. “In the event that the committee adopts a report that does not contain suggestions for proposed legislation, the chair must table the report.
There would be a tight turnaround time for any reports or recommendations, with the measure calling for the committee to be disbanded on December 1, 2022.
Activists and lawmakers across the United States kicked into high gear on psychedelic policy reform this session.
For example, this week the Hawaii Senate 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 that the psychedelic is accessible for medical use by adults 21 years of age and older. .
Also this week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives this week passed a bill to decriminalize low-level possession of psilocybin and promote research into the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.
Rhode Island lawmakers introduced two drug decriminalization bills this month, including one focused on psilocybin and buprenorphine that would allow doctors to prescribe the psychedelic mushroom.
Also this month, 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.
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 wording of two other psychedelic 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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