Written by Kara Morris
MONDAY, November 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Colorado voters have narrowly voted to approve the medicinal use of “magic mushrooms” in Colorado.
“I am in awe of what we have been able to achieve,” said Veronica Lightning Horse Perez, a leading proponent of the legalization of psilocybin, the main psychoactive compound in mushrooms. “More than a million people voted yes to this. To think so many people see the value in these drugs, so many people know they can be used for healing – that’s huge.”
In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration described psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy,” which has accelerated drug development with the compound.
Psilocybin may have potential as a treatment for a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug dependence, and eating disorders. Clinical trials to further research this are still ongoing.
A movement to legalize psilocybin is growing: Oregon voters have agreed to allow its therapeutic use in 2020, while it has been decriminalized in Washington, D.C. and more than a dozen additional cities, NBC News mentioned.
An additional 19 states have seen bills introduced to legalize their possession, although none have yet been approved. These include Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. More than a dozen other states are seeking further study of their health benefits, including Florida, NBC News mentioned.
Meanwhile, the Hawaii State Senate has approved a task force that plans to make the drug available to adults as a mental health treatment. Connecticut has adjusted its state budget to fund programs that may use the drug to work with veterans and retired first responders.
In the Oklahoma House of Representatives, a bill to allow scientific research into psilocybin is before the Senate. It will allow state-run clinical trials for adults with certain conditions, NBC News mentioned.
“More people are starting to recognize and understand that, when it comes to psychedelic therapy, it’s not some kind of radical field. It’s becoming more and more common,” said Oklahoma Representative Daniel Bay, who co-authored the bill. NBC News.
Texas has already passed a similar bill to study the drug.
Meanwhile, psilocybin is still illegal at the federal level and in most states. NBC News mentioned.
Importantly, Colorado’s new law does not allow for retail sale or use in various settings, including schools, in public places or while the vehicle is in operation.
Tell Denver addiction counselor Kevin Franchiotti NBC News That action gives Colorado “the opportunity to be a pioneer in pushing US drug policy in the right direction.”
However, opponents of the Colorado measure called for it not to jump ahead of FDA approval.
“I hope the rest of the country will learn the hard lessons from the conquest of Velayati,” said Luc Nivoratos, who leads two nationalist organizations that opposed the measure. “As the years go by and we learn more about this experience, we hope to say we’ll let the FDA and scientists lead the medicine, not the companies.”
The National Library of Medicine has more about psilocybin as a treatment.
source: NBC News