Another state joins the movement to decriminalize psychedelics.
Connecticut has become the newest state to consider reform proposals regarding psychedelic medicines.
On Monday, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D), signed legislation that includes a policy proposal that requires the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to establish a working group to study the health benefits of psilocybin.
“Such study shall include, but need not be limited to, an examination of whether the use of psilocybin by a person under the direction of a health care provider may be beneficial to the person’s physical or mental wellbeing,” the measure states. The working group would have a Jan. 2, 2022 deadline to report back with its finding and recommendations.
The proposal is one of several health reform initiatives signed by the governor. But it’s not the first time psychedelics were mentioned by Connecticut lawmakers. A separate bill regarding mental and behavioral health had referenced psilocybin but was later rolled over into a separate bill, filed in January, that required establishing a psilocybin task force.
Connecticut lawmakers may be more open minded about the therapeutic possibility psychedelics hold because clinics in the state offer ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and at least one is participating in clinical trials investigating psilocybin and MDMA as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Last month, the multidisciplinary science journal Nature published findings from a Phase-3 clinical trial studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The results showed that two-thirds of participants with severe PTSD who underwent the psychedelic treatment experienced such significant improvement that they no longer met the criteria for PTSD.
Connecticut is one step ahead of Texas, where lawmakers are awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature on a bill that would require the state to look into the therapeutic benefit of psychedelics. Lawmakers in California are also making headway on a measure to decriminalize possession of psychedelics and could become the second state after Oregon to decriminalize the medicines.
Several cities have already deprioritized possession and enforcement of laws surrounding some psychedelics, including Washington DC; Denver, Colorado; Oakland and Santa Cruz, California; and Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts.