The Natural Medicine Act – Will Colorado Join Oregon in Legalizing Psilocybin and Magic Mushrooms Next Month?

October 26, 2022 · Cannabis.net

Next month, voters in Colorado will decide whether to legalize psilocybin and psilocin, the hallucinogenic compounds found in what are generally known as magic mushrooms. The Natural Medicine Act, also known as Proposition 122, would make it legal to own and grow magic mushrooms.

The plan calls for authorized healing centers to be able to provide psilocybin and psilocin for medicinal purposes. According to the non-profit organizations backing the initiative,  natural psychedelic medications are non-addictive. They can offer significant benefits to people struggling with complex mental health disorders, including despair and anxiety, as well as those trying to find peace at the end of their lives, according to Colorado, the nonprofit backing the initiative.

If approved by voters, Colorado would become the second state after Oregon to decriminalize the use of psychedelics, although Oregon went one step further to legalize it.

Research On Psilocybin

Out of all the medications examined for the Colorado experiment, psilocybin has received the most research attention. Psilocybin and treatment have been studied in clinical trials. Unlike antidepressants, which must be taken on a continual basis, psilocybin has been demonstrated to produce long-term therapeutic benefits after just one, two, or three doses. Apart from the psilocybin-assisted treatment programs utilized in clinical investigations, it is uncertain if psilocybin provides any health benefits.

According to preliminary research, psilocybin may benefit persons with terminal diseases who are feeling hopelessness or anxiety that is resistant to therapy. Although the findings are encouraging, the authors emphasize that bigger sample sizes and more studies are required to fully comprehend the neurobiological components and long-term impacts of psilocybin. In 2019, the FDA designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough treatment,” which expedites the development of powerful medications.

According to another study, psilocybin-assisted treatment is effective in treating alcohol and nicotine addiction, as well as drug use problems. Clinical trials for mescaline, ibogaine and dimethyltryptamine are still in their infancy.

Proposition 122: The Natural Medicine Act

Although Oregon voters authorized the limited use of psychedelic mushrooms in 2020, the Colorado citizens’ proposal on the November ballot goes much further. Proposition 122 would make it legal for adults over the age of 21 to use psilocybin mushrooms and other plant-based psychedelics for personal use. Still, it would prohibit their sale anywhere else except at officially recognized “healing centers” where customers could take them under the supervision of trained facilitators. The amendment approved by Oregon voters in 2020 allows patients to receive psilocybin cubensis treatment in confined conditions. It is worth noting that no facilities have opened in Oregon yet; state health authorities are working on rules.

Studies suggest that psychedelic substances might be used to treat conditions including depression and other illnesses. According to major sources, the bill will expand treatment choices for both individuals who are terminally ill and those who suffer from conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Possession of psilocybin is no longer regarded as a felony in 15 American states and other local government entities, and the requirement of detaining, accusing, or arresting users is no longer thought critical. The adult use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms was designated as the lowest priority in Denver’s 2019 voter-approved initiative, and it also barred using resources to enforce associated consequences.

On a federal level, psychedelic chemicals are classified as Schedule I illegal substances, which means they have a high potential for misuse and no recognized therapeutic usefulness. These substances are capable of altering perception and causing hallucinations. Despite results from various growing bodies of studies that hallucinogenic mushrooms may have therapeutic advantages, including the ability to alleviate depression, the FDA has refused to modify its regulations.

In its briefing about the campaign finances, the non-profit group, Natural Medicine Colorado, reported receiving more than $2.8 million in donations, virtually all of which came from the New Approach PAC, a Washington, D.C.-based organization.  The New Approach PAC also supported the successful natural psychedelic decriminalization measures in 2020 in Oregon and Washington. The organization Protect Colorado Kids, which is against the modifications and the state’s general legalization of marijuana, reported raising only $750.

A 15-member Natural Medicine Advisory Board would be constituted to oversee the regulation of psychedelic substances if the Natural Medicine Act were implemented. The first series of provider licenses will be distributed in September 2024. Based on recommendations from the advisory group, the program may be extended in 2026, possibly including more medicines like DMT and mescaline.

Uncertainties of the Proposition 122 Bill

Opponents of the bill argue that it advances science too quickly and that psychedelic plants and mushrooms should not be permitted for medical or recreational use solely based on the findings of recent studies. They also highlight how much study has concentrated on psychedelic mushrooms and how little is known about the effects of mescaline, ibogaine, and dimethyltryptamine.

According to Justice Department authorities, psilocybin usage can have negative psychological consequences, such as making it difficult to discern between imagination and reality, as well as negative physical effects, such as vomiting, weakness, and loss of coordination. People having a personal or familial history of psychosis are typically omitted from studies because psilocybin can trigger psychotic episodes. Psilocybin can potentially aggravate cardiac problems.

Although many believe psilocybin is less harmful than pharmaceutical medicines manufactured in a lab since it is sourced from plants (technically, fungus), This categorization has no foundation mainly because most pharmaceuticals and toxic plants are obtained from natural sources.

Probability of a US Psilocybin Industry

The effects of magic mushrooms on humans are significantly diverse. Psilocybin is unlikely to be approved as quickly as marijuana, which is now authorized for medicinal use in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Nineteen of those states, including Washington, D.C., have also legalized recreational usage.

Key Takeaway

During the general election on November 8, Colorado voters will decide on 11 statewide ballot propositions, including Proposition 122. Once approved, The state would put plans in motion to immediately establish restrictions for locations where persons over the age of 21 can buy and consume psychedelics under close supervision. Outside of those institutions, the sale of narcotics would remain prohibited. Full Story

In categories:Legalization Psychedelics
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