2022 Shaping Up To Be THE Year Of Psychedelic Legalization

Nearly every day, another new rule favoring the decriminalization of psychedelics or otherwise prompting favorable treatment of psychedelics is announced. Here’s a roundup of some of the most recent actions in January alone:

– January 19. After facing legal scrutiny for decades, psychedelics including MDMA and psilocybin received a stamp of approval from Health Canada for medical purposes. Canada’s legislation now permits the use of psychedelics beyond palliative care.

– January 18. U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) led a bipartisan group of six lawmakers in urging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to stop blocking terminally ill patients’ access to therapeutic psilocybin treatments. 41 state legislatures and the federal government have passed Right to Try (RTT) laws to allow terminally ill patients access to treatments, including psilocybin, that is still in investigational stages. The DEA, however, has refused to accommodate RTT laws, denying terminally ill patients their freedom to elect their preferred treatments.

– January 17. Missouri State Representative Michael Davis (R) reportedly filed a bill that expands Missouri’s Right to Try statute to include Schedule 1 investigational drugs, with a focus on psychedelic drugs including psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, and ibogaine. Davis filed an identical bill, HB 1176, in February 2021.

– January 17. Utah State Representative Brady Brammer sponsored HB 167 that creates the Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force, requiring the task force to study and make recommendations on drugs that may assist in treating mental illness. Although not specifically mentioned in the bill, psilocybin is likely the “main ringleader” of drugs that would be considered by the task force, according to a report by KSL, a news radio station in Salt Lake City.

– January 12 – A second public hearing in the General Court of New Hampshire for HB 1349 is held to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. The bill would reduce possession of up to 12 grams to a violation with a $100 fine.

– January 12. Virginia Delegate Dawn Adams (D) introduced HB 898, a bill that provides any person 21 years of age or older who knowingly or intentionally possesses peyote, ibogaine, psilocybin, or psilocyn shall be punished by a civil penalty of no more than $100, and such civil penalties shall be deposited into the Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund. Under current Virginia law, a person who knowingly or intentionally possesses such substances is guilty of a Class 5 felony. If convicted, the offender could be sentenced to 10 years in prison, or jail for not more than 12 months, and/or a fine of not more than $2,500.

– January 11. The International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative (ITPRI) is launched today. It is a global coalition working to promote and secure a rescheduling of psilocybin under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Advisory board members of the coalition include the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Beckley Foundation, and the former Secretary to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.

– January 11. The first reading in the Florida House of Representatives of HB 193 is held. The bill is sponsored by Florida State Representative Michael Grieco (D) would allow using alternative therapies to treat mental health and other medical conditions

– January 10. Kansas State Representative Aaron Coleman (D) introduces HB 2465 to decriminalize the possession, cultivation, and distribution of psilocybin. 

– January 5. Seven state senators in Washington State filed a bill, SB 5660, that would create a state-licensed program to provide medical treatment with psilocybin after an 18-month development period.

But that’s just January. Other legislation on the books for traction in 2022 include California’s psychedelics decriminalization bill SB 519; two psychedelics-related decriminalization initiatives slated to be on the November 2022 ballot in Colorado, Initiative 49 and Initiative 50; and Michigan SB 631, which would legalize possession, cultivation, and delivery of several plant and fungus-derived psychedelics, including psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, now in Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

Dave Hodes

David Hodes is a business journalist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He has contributed feature articles to several cannabis and psychedelics publications, as well as general business/lifestyle publications, on a variety of topics. Hodes was selected as 2018 Journalist of the Year by Americans for Safe Access. He is a member of the National Press Club, and the deputy booking agent for the National Press Club Headliners Committee.

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