A new piece of legislation would bring psychedelic research to New York.
New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D) introduced legislation this week that would require the state to create a research institute to investigate the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for “people struggling with a substance use disorder, including methamphetamine, opioids, and other addictive substances.”
Researchers would also be required to conduct clinical trials into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, develop training programs for professionals who would work with the substances, and to establish an advisory board to provide oversight of clinical trials and assist principal investigators at sites lacking formal institutional review board oversight.
The legislation also enables state regulators to contract with a facility to obtain psychedelics without a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license in the event they are unable to get enough of the medicine through a licensing agreement with the DEA due to the agency’s “refusal or failure” to comply with the program.
“There is growing evidence to suggest that psychedelics, including psilocybin, can be a useful tool in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and to help individuals recover from a substance use disorder,” Rosenthal said in a memo about the bill. “Psychedelics provide a host of benefits without the same risk of overdose or dependency that other medications may provide.”
Last May, Rosenthal became one of the first state lawmakers to introduce legislation to decriminalize psilocybin, one of the main psychoactive ingredients in magic mushrooms. In March, she introduced an amendment to the bill to include psilocin, the other main psychoactive chemical in the mushrooms.
The news comes just one week after the New York Post reported that it had obtained a plan from New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang backing the legalization of certain psychedelics and other substances in controlled settings for military veterans suffering from PTSD.
“For decades, our city has failed the veterans who live here and suffer from staggeringly disproportionate rates of homelessness, mental health issues, and suicide,” he said in a statement. “As mayor, I am going to recognize that investing in our veterans is an investment in the future of our city.”
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