Massachusetts Republican Lawmaker and Bay Staters for Natural Medicine Put Out a Call to Action
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary recently announced that it will hold a hybrid public hearing on Tuesday June 13th from 1pm to 5pm to consider three pieces of legislation that call for the legalization of certain natural plants and fungi that contain psychedelic compounds including psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, mescaline, and ibogaine.
“This is a historic moment for the Massachusetts legislature,” said Representative Nicholas Boldyga (R-Southwick) who is the primary sponsor for one of the bills. “At a time where we are facing a mental health epidemic throughout the country, Massachusetts has the opportunity to lead the nation toward a path of healing by legalizing plant medicines that are quite literally saving lives.” Boldyga continued.
The three bills that are being considered are:
H3589 – An Act concerning the legalization of certain natural plants and fungi – Rep. Nick Boldyga
H1754/S1009 – An Act relative to plant medicine – Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa / Sen. Patricia Jehlen
Representative Boldyga noted that while all three bills are virtually the same, his bill would legalize plant medicines for those 21 years of age and older, while the other two bills would legalize plant medicines for those 18 years of age and older. “I’ve heard compelling arguments for both age thresholds and I’m open to continuing that conversation.”
Representative Boldyga said that the public will have three ways to participate:
Attend the hearing and testify in-person at the State House in Boston – Hearing Room A-2. Signup to testify the day of the hearing outside the hearing room, however it is encouraged to pre-register using the same link to register virtually.
Testify virtually by registering at https://malegislature.gov/
Events/Hearings/Detail/4581 The deadline to register is 5pm on June 11th. Once registered further instructions will be provided on how to participate.
Submit written testimony via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on June 13th
“This is a call to action for plant medicine advocates to share their powerful stories of healing and hope,” said Representative Boldyga. “It’s critical that members of the Judiciary Committee hear from veterans, first responders, clinicians, mental health professionals, and the countless others whose lives have been transformed,” Boldyga continued.
“The clinical research, data, and stories of lives saved is overwhelming. By legalizing plant medicines, challenging old stigmas rooted in disinformation, and removing barriers to access, we can help millions of people heal and move on from debilitating trauma to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.”
Representative Boldyga credited Bay Staters for Natural Medicine (BSNM) and New England Veterans for Plant Medicine, two leading advocacy groups in the northeast, for driving the plant medicine movement forward.
“In the course of this hearing, nearly eight of our neighbors in Massachusetts will have lost their lives to overdose. We will not tolerate another year of our loved ones succumbing to opioids when we have these affordable, transformative medicines for addiction and trauma that grow straight from the Earth,” said James Davis, the co-founder of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine and leader of its local campaigns.
“The VA had me on over 100 medications for my post-traumatic stress after the gulf war. These drugs were addictive, and they destroyed my life. With just two grams of psilocybin mushrooms, my life was saved. I could get up. I could work. If they don’t pass this bill, the message is that it’s okay to let vets and first-responders die, if I may be honest,” remarked Michael Botelho, a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran and co-founder of New England Veterans for Plant Medicine.
“Because of the incredible work by BSNM, six municipalities in Massachusetts have already decriminalized plant medicines for their communities. I believe there is a real opportunity for Massachusetts and other New England states to lead the way in this mental health revolution” said Representative Boldyga. “I believe the time has come for viewing mental health issues in a whole new light. The old profit driven models must give way to new systems of healing that put the wellbeing of people first, treat disease at its root cause, and have positive outcomes.” Boldyga proclaimed.
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