This article was made possible thanks to research from Calyx Law, the Emerge Group and Psilocybin Alpha.
As psychedelics like LSD, ayahuasca and magic mushrooms come rushing back into the public conversation, a few simple questions come up after discussing the potential of these substances in treating a wide variety of mental health disorders:
What Are Psychedelics?
Are Psychedelics Legal In The U.S.?
Where Are Psychedelics Allowed In The U.S.?
Where Are Psychedelics Being Considered For Legalization?
Wait, What Are Psychedelics?
Psychedelic is a broad term that encompasses a few different substances, some of which enjoy decriminalization or low-level law enforcement in certain jurisdictions around the country.
Psychedelics are usually described as drugs capable of producing non-ordinary states of consciousness.
While there are hundreds of natural and synthetic substances that can fall into the general definition of mind-altering drugs, most people refer to some compounds in particular when speaking of psychedelics:
LSD, or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Street names: acid, mellow yellow.
Psilocybin, a compound naturally produced by Psilocybe mushrooms. Street names: magic mushrooms, shrooms.
Mescaline, naturally found in the Peyote and San Pedro cacti.
DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, is a compound found in ayahuasca, a traditional Amazonian concoction used in shamanic rituals.
Ibogaine, naturally produced by the iboga plant, a shrub native to West Africa.
5-MeO-DMT, a psychedelic toxin produced by the Sonoran Desert Frog and some plants. Street name: toad venom.
MDMA. This empathogen can be considered a drug of a different category from the classic psychedelics listed above, but its often grouped within this definition. Street names: ecstasy, molly.
Are Psychedelics Legal In The U.S.?
As a general rule, all of the substances listed above are considered Schedule 1 substances by the federal government and are therefore illegal to produce, sell, possess or consume without special government authorization.
Although scheduled, every one of these substances is currently under clinical research and most are expected to become approved in the coming years as psychiatric medication for specific mental health indications.
In the meantime, some U.S. jurisdictions have passed legislation reducing law enforcement of some psychedelic substances, allowing for the use and possession of small amounts of these drugs.
Exception: The Case Of Ketamine
Ketamine is a dissociative drug originally approved as an anesthetic in 1970. In recent decades, its psychedelic-like effects were discovered to produce a reduction in depression symptoms.
While ketamine is only officially approved as an anesthetic, physicians are allowed to prescribe it off-label for the treatment of depression and other mental disorders.
This has placed ketamine at the forefront of the psychedelics movement, as a prescribable drug that can be legally administered at clinics under physician supervision.
Where Are Psychedelics Allowed In The U.S.?
Using Psilocybin Alphas Psychedelic Legalization & Decriminalization Tracker, we compiled a list of U.S. jurisdictions where psychedelics are allowed.
In November 2020, Oregon became the first U.S. state to eliminate criminal penalties for all illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine, as well as every psychedelic substance like LSD, psilocybin and MDMA.
Possession of small amounts of these substances were made a Class E violation, instead of a misdemeanor. This reduces penalties to a $100 fine or the option to enlist in one of the states Addiction and Recovery Centers.
Additionally, in the same 2020 ballot Oregonians voted to launch a program for the therapeutic use of psilocybin, creating the countrys first state-licensed psilocybin-assisted therapy system.
The program, currently in development, will allow patients over the age of 21 to buy, possess and use psilocybin under the supervision of trained facilitators, while manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin will be allowed at supervised, licensed facilities.
California: Santa Cruz and Oakland
While the state of California still places a ban on scheduled psychedelic molecules, two cities within its borders have passed resolutions preventing the city from spending resources in imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of entheogenic plants and fungi.
In both Santa Cruz and Oakland, personal use, possession and cultivation of plants like iboga, mescaline cacti, the ingredients in ayahuasca as well as psilocybin mushrooms are classified among the lowest law enforcement priorities. In Oakland, purchasing, transporting and distributing these natural psychedelics fall into the same category.
District of Columbia
Similar measures were passed in Washington D.C., where psychedelic plants and fungi became decriminalized in November 2020.
Non-commercial planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, and/or possessing entheogenic plants and fungi are considered lowest enforcement priorities by the DC Metropolitan Police, banning the investigation and arrest of persons 18 years of age or older for these practices.
Denver became the first U.S. jurisdiction to reduce penalties on psilocybin mushrooms in May 2019. Psilocybin mushrooms are among the lowest law enforcement priority, preventing law enforcement from using Denver city funds for criminalizing the personal use and possession of these fungi.
Michigan: Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor is currently the only city in the American Midwest where cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing natural psychedelics is not criminalized.
Entheogenic plants or plant compounds, which are on the Federal Schedule 1 are a lowest law enforcement priority, meaning that city funds or resources shall not be used in any investigation, detention, arrest, or prosecution and that the district attorney must cease prosecution of persons involved in the use of entheogenic plants or plant-based compounds.
Massachusetts: Somerville, Cambridge and Northampton
In January 2021, the Boston suburb of Somerville passed a legislation wherein no city funds or resources shall be used to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of entheogenic plants by adults.
Soon after, neighboring cities of Cambridge and Northampton adopted the same legislation, which states that the investigation and arrest of adult persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, and/or possessing entheogenic plants shall be amongst the lowest law enforcement priority, calling upon the District Attorney to cease prosecution of persons involved in these practices.
Where Are Psychedelics Being Considered For Legalization?
Federal legislation decriminalizing psychedelic substances does not appear to be on the horizon despite the approval of specific psychedelic substances for medical use via the FDA clinical trial pipeline.
In late July, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reintroduced an amendment to remove federal barriers to research the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances. The measure was widely rejected by the House, although floor support grew from a previous introduction of the same measure in 2019.
However, several U.S. states have recently passed legislation that calls for research around psychedelic molecules. Other states have bills in congress that could enact further measures around psychedelic legalization.
In California, a bill is being considered that would remove penalties for the possession, personal use and social sharing of certain natural and synthetic psychoactive drugs including psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, mescaline, LSD, ketamine and MDMA.
The bill passed a Senate vote and is currently on track to the Assembly floor. In a recent interview with Benzinga, Sen. Scott Wiener, the bills main sponsor, said he is in favor of full drug decriminalization and this measure is a first step toward that goal.
In 2021, Connecticut and Texas approved bills that launched working groups to study the medical use of psilocybin. In Texas, MDMA and Ketamine are also being studied for the same purpose, with military veterans as the main target group for these therapies.
A similar resolution to study the therapeutic potential of psilocybin was introduced in Hawaii, where a separate senate bill to deschedule psilocybin is also under consideration. In an interview, Hawaii Senator Stanley Chang told us that the goal of the bill is to remove psilocybin and psilocin from the list of Schedule I substances and require Hawaiis Department of Health to establish treatment centers for the therapeutic administration of these compounds.
Measures involving the decriminalization of psychedelics have also been introduced in a number of other state legislatures, including Florida, where a psilocybin legalization bill died in the senate. In Illinois, a bill to loosen restrictions on entheogenic plants was introduced but never made it to a floor vote.
Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Vermont and New York currently have active bills in their legislature that could bring different levels of decriminalization to certain psychedelic substances. In the Empire State, a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal would establish a psychedelic research institute and a therapeutic research program to study and provide recommendations on the use of psychedelic substances.
As investors, scientific institutions and the general public grow more knowledgeable and interested in the medicinal potential of psychedelics, more states and jurisdictions are expected to roll out further bills and legislative moves that will hopefully open access to psychedelics in different ways across the country.
Ms contenido sobre psicodlicos en Espaol en El Planteo.
Photo: Morgan Lane on Unsplash
See more from Benzinga
2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Continue reading here:
- Psychedelics can change humanity for the better. Its time ... - January 9th, 2022
- 'Microdosers' of LSD and magic mushrooms are wiser... - Daily Maverick - January 9th, 2022
- Core One Labs Now Also Working to Biosynthesize DMT and Receives License - Financial Post - January 9th, 2022
- NeonMind to Present at H.C. Wainwright Bioconnect Conference - Yahoo Finance - January 9th, 2022
- Magic mushroom companies are on the Nasdaq now. Thats a recipe for a bad trip - The Guardian - January 7th, 2022
- Psilocybin therapy options could expand in Hawaii | Hawai'i Public Radio - Hawaiipublicradio - January 7th, 2022
- From psychedelics to 'The Great Resignation' - wellness trends for 2022 - CapeTown ETC - January 7th, 2022
- Ketamine, Psilocybin and the Rise of Missouri Psychedelics - Riverfront Times - December 25th, 2021
- Animals That Eat Psychedelics And Enjoy The Trip - Benzinga - Benzinga - December 25th, 2021
- Bad Hug - The Cut - December 25th, 2021
- How Seeing God Might Be The Secret To The Most Cutting-Edge Mental Health Treatments - Forbes - December 25th, 2021
- Happy Holidays From The Dales Report Team - The Dales Report - December 25th, 2021
- GOP Lawmakers File Bills To Streamline Research Into Marijuana, Psychedelics And Other Schedule I Drugs - Marijuana Moment - December 22nd, 2021
- Meet Zappy Zapolin, The Psychedelic Concierge Who Turned Lamar Odom On To Ketamine - Forbes - December 22nd, 2021
- Numinus Wellness inc: Leading in the psychedelics race - Proactive Investors UK - December 22nd, 2021
- When Aldous Huxley Opened the Doors of Perception - The MIT Press Reader - December 22nd, 2021
- Kratom Attracts Investor Attention After Regulatory Win - Bloomberg - December 22nd, 2021
- Two esteemed doctors join CB Therapeutics in its exploration of innovative approaches to the production of novel psychedelics and cannabinoids so... - December 22nd, 2021
- Revenge travel and psychedelic retreats: The travel trends taking flight in 2022 - AsiaOne - December 22nd, 2021
- Cybin Awarded Notice of Allowance from US Patent and Trademark Office for CYB004 (Deuterated Psychedelic Tryptamine) for the Treatment of Anxiety... - December 15th, 2021
- TGA blocks bid to have MDMA, magic mushrooms used to treat mental health conditions - ABC News - December 15th, 2021
- PharmaTher Announces Positive Research Results for LSD Microneedle Patch - Yahoo Finance - December 15th, 2021
- MDMA could soon be used to treat PTSD according to physicians - Mixmag - December 15th, 2021
- MindMed Appoints Robert Barrow as Chief Executive Officer and Director - Yahoo Finance - December 15th, 2021
- MAPS and Wesana Health Resume Negotiations - GlobeNewswire - December 15th, 2021
- Sex, psychedelics and murderous impulses: Do we know too much about Will Smith? - The Independent - November 7th, 2021
- PharmaDrug commissions TIBI for advancing psychedelics program with analogue DMT formulation to cure eye diseases - Proactive Investors USA - November 7th, 2021
- I Have $1,000. Should I Invest In Cannabis, Crypto Or Psychedelics? - Benzinga - Benzinga - November 7th, 2021
- Psychedelics Could Be New Frontier in End-of-Life Care - Hospice News - November 5th, 2021
- Detroit just decriminalized psychedelics and magic mushrooms. Heres what that means - PBS NewsHour - November 5th, 2021
- Psychedelics linked to lower risk of heart disease and diabetes - Medical News Today - November 5th, 2021
- The people turning to psychedelics on their deathbeds - The Independent - November 5th, 2021
- Psychedelic Therapy Is Hyped, But Its Not Risk-Free: How Therapy Abuse Can Retraumatize Clients - Forbes - November 5th, 2021
- Defeating Gambling Addiction: New Study Looks To Defy The Odds With Psychedelics - Forbes - November 5th, 2021
- This Psychedelics Unicorn's Stock Is Up 50% In One MonthBeating Bitcoin, Ethereum And Dogecoin - Benzing - Benzinga - November 5th, 2021
- This Psychedelics Stock Was Up More Than 20% Last Week, Outperforming Tesla, Nvidia and GameStop - Benzinga - November 5th, 2021
- Biglaw Associate Is Advocating For Therapeutic Use Of Psychedelics And The Firm Is Backing Him Up - Above the Law - November 5th, 2021
- Easthampton is the fourth city in Mass. to vote to decriminalize psychedelics - WBUR - October 24th, 2021
- There Could Be a Curious Link Between Psychedelics And Improved Heart Health - ScienceAlert - October 24th, 2021
- How Atai Is Transforming The Landscape Of Mental Health Using Psychedelics (Part 2) - Forbes - October 24th, 2021
- A recent history of therapeutic psychedelics - Toronto Life - October 24th, 2021
- New Research Hints at a Link Between Psychedelics and Improved Heart Health - The Swaddle - October 24th, 2021
- Why Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Has Gone Mainstream - Forbes - October 24th, 2021
- Ketamine and psilocybin, better known as party drugs, showing promise for treatment of mood disorders - CTV News - October 24th, 2021
- Recent progress in psychedelic therapies - Lexology - October 24th, 2021
- Miracles and medication: The new science of psychedelic drugs - Stuff.co.nz - October 24th, 2021
- UAB researcher granted federal funding for psilocybin and smoking study - The Mix - October 24th, 2021
- Yale researchers using psychedelics to find new treatments for depression - WTNH.com - September 17th, 2021
- Want Quick Exposure To The Psychedelics Sector? Check Out This New Active ETF - Benzinga - Benzinga - September 17th, 2021
- 5 things to know about the Ann Arbor psychedelic shroom fest - MLive.com - September 17th, 2021
- A Look At Psychedelics Stock PharmaTher And Its Recent Bull Run - Benzinga - Benzinga - September 17th, 2021
- Differentiated Approach in Psychedelics Boosts Confidence in Upcoming Clinical Trials for Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) -... - September 17th, 2021
- Psychedelics research and public education elevated by multiple gifts - UC Berkeley - September 16th, 2021
- Pain Awareness Month: Psychable Educates Patients on Transformative Power of Using Psychedelics as Medicine for Pain Treatment, Management and Healing... - September 16th, 2021
- $80 Million Granted to Research Psychedelic Properties of Ingesting Toad Venom - Newsweek - September 16th, 2021
- Psychedelic Use on the Rise As Gen Z Seeks To Enhance Connectedness - VICE UK - September 16th, 2021
- Phyto Partners Cannabis VC on Why He's Investing in Psychedelics - Business Insider - September 16th, 2021
- Detroit Voters Will Decide On Psychedelics Decriminalization Ballot Measure In November - Marijuana Moment - September 16th, 2021
- Seattle bid to decriminalize psychedelics could have profound effect on treating addiction - MyNorthwest.com - September 16th, 2021
- Post-9/11 vets go to Mexico to treat trauma with psychedelic - The San Diego Union-Tribune - September 16th, 2021
- Lobe Sciences to Participate at the Advances in Me... | INN - Investing News Network - September 16th, 2021
- Seattle is now in the process of legalizing psychedelics, heres what to know - Curiocity - September 16th, 2021
- World Suicide Prevention Day: Suicide Remains a Leading Global Cause of Death; Communities Across the World Seek Expanded Use of Psychedelics as... - September 16th, 2021
- Psilocybin Transdermal Patches Could Be The Next Big Thing In Psychedelics - Forbes - September 1st, 2021
- Psychedelics are getting closer to approval, but the market may not be ready - FierceBiotech - August 22nd, 2021
- At-Home Genetic Testing Cant Tell You If Youre Going to Have a Bad Trip - VICE - August 22nd, 2021
- Past, Present & Future of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy: A New Dawn for Mental Health and Neuroscience - cmc.edu - August 22nd, 2021
- Researchers breaking away from the central dogma of depression - STAT - STAT - August 22nd, 2021
- When did humans start experimenting with alcohol and drugs? - EL PAS in English - August 22nd, 2021
- Origin Therapeutics Will Invest $5.1M In Psychedelics Startups - Yahoo Finance - August 14th, 2021
- GR is getting close to decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi - Fox17 - August 14th, 2021
- PsychedelicNewsBreaks Microdose Psychedelic Insights to Deep Dive into World of Psychedelic Medicine Investment at Upcoming Conference -... - August 14th, 2021
- Bexson Biomedical Launches New Project, Applying Subcutaneous Delivery Technology To Multiple Psychedelic Compounds For Therapeutic Use - PRNewswire - August 14th, 2021
- Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks Psychedelic Mushrooms And The Weird World Of Fungi On His Podcast - IFLScience - August 14th, 2021
- Delic Announces Luke Storey, Transformation Coach and Creator/Host of Thought-Provoking Podcast, The Life Stylist to Speak at Meet Delic: The World's... - August 14th, 2021
- Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) CEO Shares Insights on the Psychedelics Space on The Dealmaker Podcast - StreetInsider.com - August 14th, 2021
- Cybin Inc. Announces 2021 First Quarter Financial Results and Business Highlights - Business Wire - August 14th, 2021
- Biomind Labs Files Patent Application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Its 4th Patent Application - Yahoo Finance - August 14th, 2021
- Researchers Concerned About Whitewashing of Psychedelic-Assisted Mental Health Research - Mad In America - James Moore - August 6th, 2021
- Cybin Becomes First Psychedelics Company On The NYSE: CEO Explains Everything You Need To Know - Yahoo Finance - August 6th, 2021