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A former Republican congresswoman touts the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, sharing the story of how a close family friend was able to recover from alcoholism with the help of psilocybin.

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) gave the personal anecdote during a recent interview with Spectrum News. She was discussing a bill that is temporarily stuck in the state legislature to legalize possession of a wide range of psychedelics.

“Someone who is very close to our family was an alcoholic when he was 15, and he tried everything to beat that disease and he was unsuccessful,” said Walters, who was also a senator from the ‘State of California. and member of the assembly, said. But then the person was invited to participate in a study at NYU “to help him get rid of his alcohol addiction.”

“He participated as a participant, actually received the psilocybin treatment, and after the first time he received the treatment, he lost all desire to drink,” she said. “It happened about six years ago, and he hasn’t had the urge since.”

Walters left Congress in 2019, just months before an amendment passed to promote research into psychedelics. The measure has failed every time it was introduced, although it garnered more support the last time it was introduced in July.

A growing body of research has shown that certain psychedelics can be effective in treating conditions such as drug addiction, severe depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Media attention to these studies is one reason why National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow believes the United States is seeing increased use of psychedelics among young people. adults, she told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview.

Voters in Oregon last year approved a landmark initiative to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. A state panel tasked with advising on the implementation of a legal psilocybin therapy program has authorized a team of researchers to produce a comprehensive report on the science, history and culture of the psychedelic as regulators are preparing to authorize the facilities to administer it.

In California, Senator Scott Wiener’s (D) legislation does not relate only to the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Rather, it would largely remove the criminal penalties for possession of many psychedelics – including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, and MDMA – for adults 21 and older.

The bill cleared the Senate and two Assembly committees before being withdrawn by the sponsor to gain more time to generate support from lawmakers. The reform is expected to be discussed in next year’s legislative session.

Wiener told a psychedelic policy forum this month that it took a significant compromise both internally and externally to move the measure as far as it goes, and he also noted that the Legalizing the possession of psychedelics is just the first step towards the global end of the war on drugs and the decriminalization of all. currently illicit substances.

The senator spent a lot of energy building support for the reform proposal as it progressed through the legislature, including hosting a recent rally with veterans of the military, law enforcement and health officials.

Meanwhile, California psychedelic activists recently filed a petition for the 2022 poll to make the state the first in the country to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for any use. And a tax analysis of the proposal found that it would save the state millions of dollars in enforcement costs and also generate state and local tax revenue. The state attorney general released a voting record and a summary of the measure last week, allowing lawyers to begin collecting signatures.

The California legislature’s psychedelic effort, which Wiener first introduced in November, comes as activists step up efforts to enact psychedelic reform locally in cities across the United States and across the country.

In California, Oakland and Santa Cruz have already adopted the decriminalization of psychedelics. In Oakland, the first municipality in the United States where a city council voted to largely remove the priority of criminalizing entheogenic substances, lawmakers approved a follow-up resolution in December that calls for the policy change to be passed across the board. State and local jurisdictions be allowed to allow healing ceremonies where people could use psychedelics.

Michigan senators introduced a bill this month to legalize the possession, cultivation and delivery of a range of plant and fungal-derived psychedelics like psilocybin and mescaline.

Voters in Detroit will decide on a voting measure to decriminalize psychedelics in November.

Ann Arbor City Council approved entheogenic decriminalization last year, and in July, local lawmakers passed a resolution to officially designate September as Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Awareness Month. After the local decriminalization resolution passed, a county attorney announced that his office would not prosecute possession charges of plants and entheogenic fungi, “regardless of the amount involved.”

Efforts are also underway in Grand Rapids to enact a policy change for psychedelics.

Meanwhile, activists in Denver who led a successful campaign in 2019 to make the city the first in the United States to decriminalize possession of psilocybin have their sights set on broader reform, with plans underway to end the criminalization of non-commercial giveaways and community use of psychedelics.

Cities in Massachusetts that have adopted the policy change are: Northampton, Somerville and Cambridge. In July, state lawmakers heard testimony about a bill to create a task force to study the implications of legalizing psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

The Connecticut governor recently signed legislation that includes language requiring the state to conduct a study on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

Texas also recently passed a bill requiring the state to investigate the medical benefits of psychedelics for military veterans.

A New York lawmaker introduced a bill in June that would require the state to establish an institute to similarly research the medical value of psychedelics.

Aspen, Colorado city council discussed the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin and proposals to decriminalize these substances at a meeting in May. But members said, as it stands, passing a reform would be better managed at the state level while entheogens remain strictly controlled by the federal government.

Seattle lawmakers also recently sent a letter to members of a local task force focused on the opioid overdose epidemic, imploring the group to investigate the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like ayahuasca and ibogaine. to fight against addiction. In response, the task force issued a recommendation for the widespread decriminalization of all drugs. The group said psychedelics in particular could represent a promising treatment for treating substance abuse disorders and mental health issues.

Meanwhile, activists in Portland, Ore. Are pushing local lawmakers to pass a resolution decriminalizing the cultivation, donation, and ceremonial use of a wide range of psychedelics.

In a setback for defenders, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted against a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that would have removed an addendum from the spending bill that advocates say restricted federal funding for research on Schedule I drugs, including psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine. However, it garnered considerably more votes this round than when the MP first introduced it in 2019.

The report’s provisions of separate spending legislation passed by the House also touch on the need to expand research into cannabis and psychedelics. The panel urged the National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support expanded studies on marijuana, for example. He further states that federal health agencies should continue their research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for military veterans suffering from a host of mental health issues.

Regarding broader drug policy reform, voters in Oregon also approved in November an initiative to decriminalize possession of all drugs. This year, the Maine House of Representatives passed a drug decriminalization bill, but he later died in the Senate.

In May, congressional lawmakers introduced the first-ever law to decriminalize possession of illicit substances at the federal level.

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