A New York lawmaker on Monday introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for medical purposes and establish facilities where the psychedelic could be grown and administered to patients.
Assemblyman Pat Burke (D) filed the legislation, which would create a system in New York that’s similar to the psilocybin program that was legalized via a ballot initiative in Oregon last year.
The bill lists a series of medical maladies that could qualify a patient to access psilocybin—such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, autism and Parkinson’s disease—but it also states that it could be recommended for “any other condition” certified by a practitioner. Therapists would need to take a two-hour training course provided by the Department of Health in order to certify patients for the psychedelic therapy.
Regulators with the Department of Health would be responsible for licensing psilocybin service centers where people could receive the treatment in a medically supervised environment, and they would also license cultivators, processors and testing facilities. There would also be a license for scientists to research the fungi.
Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,300 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.
Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.
“Struggles with diseases like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and alcoholism can be major disruptors to a person’s livelihood as well as their family’s,” the justification section of the bill says. “These mental health detriments can deteriorate physical health, result in performance deficits on tasks, and increase rates of suicide. Psilocybin therapy is a breakthrough avenue for providing people with treatment for these ailments.”
A grant program with $2 million in funding would also be established to provide monetary assistance to military veterans and first responders such as firefighters, police officers and EMS workers to receive psilocybin treatment at a service center.
“Our first responders expose themselves to potential trauma on a daily basis to keep us safe and well. Ensuring their access to [psilocybin] treatment demonstrates our reciprocity to keep them safe and well,” Burke’s sponsor memo states. “Establishing a widespread route to provide New Yorker’s with this medical treatment would be a monumental step in providing mental health care to improve lives.”
Patients would need to obtain a renewable identification card designating them as eligible for psilocybin treatment for a one-year period. Terminally ill patients would not be subject to the one-year requirement.
The legislation lays out various rules and restrictions for licensees and practitioners, including a ban on having a psilocybin…