A groundbreaking analysis published by the American Medical Association predicts that most states will legalize psychedelics by 2037.
In a groundbreaking analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, it is predicted that most states in the US will legalize psychedelics by 2037.
This analysis comes at a time when Americans are more politically engaged than ever before. With this newfound interest in political reform, the potential use of psychedelics for treating mental health ailments may become a new frontier on which voters focus their attention. Let’s take a closer look at the study and what the researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found.
The goal of the analysis was to observe the legislative changes and reforms regarding psychedelics in the US in order to advise health care professionals, policy makers, and anyone else who may be interested.
The researchers gathered data from January 1st, 2019 to September 28th, 2022 by searching for terms related to psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA, peyote, mescaline, ibogaine, LSD, ayahuasca, and DMT.
To investigate drivers and rates of legislative reform, the data was compared with other state indices including 2020 presidential voting margins and marijuana legislative reform.
What Were the Findings?
After analyzing data from various sources such as BillTrack50, LexisNexis, and Ballotpedia, it was discovered that 74 bills regarding psychedelics have been considered in half of the states across America. These include 69 legislative proposals and five ballot measures. Out of these, 10 bills were enacted while 32 remain active. Furthermore, the majority of these reform measures focus on psilocybin with MDMA being the second most mentioned substance.
The researchers noted that “the results of ‘their' study showed that, after decades of legal restriction, US states have been swiftly moving toward increased access to psychedelics.”
“Decriminalization is just 1 step in a complex process to transform these compounds into safe and effective therapies. This process will have important consequences for the medical and scientific community. Integrating psychedelic treatment into clinical practice will require peeling back many layers of legal prohibition and FDA approval, clarifying prescribing guidelines, and developing treatment models that work for drug makers, physicians, and patients.”
According to the researchers, “while early legislative efforts occurred in liberal states, the margin between liberal and conservative states has decreased over time (although the difference was not significant), suggesting that psychedelic drug reform is becoming a bipartisan issue.”
All in all, the researchers' analytic model, which is based on marijuana legalization, predicts that most states will legalize psychedelics between 2034 and 2037.
Psychedelic Reform in the US
As more information about the potential benefits of psychedelics becomes available, public opinion has shifted from one based solely on fear to one based on evidence-based research. As such, more and more people are advocating for access to these substances as treatments for mental health issues as well as recreational use. This shift in public opinion has led to an increase in calls for legislative reform across the country—including initiatives like Oregon’s Measure 109 which legalized therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms in 2020, followed by Colorado's Measure 122 which categorized psilocybin and psilocin as natural medicine and opened the door to other psychedelic treatments. These changes have opened up a new front in debates about drug policy reforms at both the state and federal levels.
The legalization of psychedelics is quickly becoming one of the hottest topics among Americans who are increasingly interested in political reform. The groundbreaking analysis published by the American Medical Association predicts that most states will legalize psychedelics by 2037 – an event which could open up a whole new frontier for political discourse throughout the US. Only time will tell if this prediction proves true but it’s clear that psychedelic reform is a topic which will continue to be discussed—and potentially enacted—in years to come.