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Massachusetts lawmakers file legislation to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, other plants


First it was marijuana decriminalization. Could psychedelic mushrooms and other plants be next in Massachusetts?

Two bills have been filed at the State House to end arrests for psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, mescaline and ibogaine in the Bay State. This push for decriminalization at the state level comes after some cities, including Somerville and Cambridge, voted to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

The sale of psychedelic mushrooms would still not be allowed under this legislation.

“Mushrooms are life changing,” James Davis, one of the lead organizers and founders of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, said in a statement. “From depression to addiction to painful cluster headaches, they are a tool that people should use in a caring community.

“There’s no better way to promote intentional and mindful use than to decriminalize minor amounts for home growing and sharing without enabling commercial sale,” Davis added.

The Senate bill titled “An Act relative to plant medicine” was filed by Sen. Patricia Jehlen, who represents Medford, Somerville, and parts of Cambridge and Winchester. The corresponding House bill titled “An Act relative to plant medicine” was filed by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, who represents Northampton and other western Massachusetts communities.

The bills address the general law’s Section 50: Entheogenic Plants and Fungi.

The legislation would make the following legal for those 18-plus in Massachusetts: “The possession, ingestion, obtaining, growing, giving away without financial gain to natural persons 18 years of age or older, and transportation of no more than two grams of psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine, and mescaline.”

“‘Financial gain’ shall mean the receipt of money or other valuable consideration in exchange for the item being shared,” the bill adds about the language that still does not allow the sale of the plants.

Those backing the decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms and other entheogenic plants cite studies that show how the plants can help alleviate the opioid crisis.

A 2017 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study of 44,000 Americans found that psychedelic use was associated with a 40% reduced risk of opioid abuse. That finding was backed by a more recent study that suggested an even stronger effect of 55%.

Also, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found one in two patients with major depression went into remission after two psilocybin therapy sessions, making it four times more effective than standard depression medications.


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