Hawaii senators on Wednesday approved two identical resolutions ordering the formation of a psilocybin working group that would explore the drug’s therapeutic potential, though procedures were modified to make provisions for developing a patient access plan conditional on federal approval of the substance.
The Senate Health Committee adopted the non-binding Senate resolution and the concurrent Senate resolution, both sponsored by Senator Chris Lee (D), who serves as the chair of the Judiciary Committee. Identical proposals were put forward unanimously, but two senators expressed reservations.
Meanwhile, the full Hawaii Senate He agreed to a similar proposal earlier this month In the form of an actual binding bill directing, rather than simply a request, that the state health department form a psilocybin working group. It has since been referred to several House committees but no hearings or votes have been scheduled for that chamber, which could prompt senators to introduce the new resolutions as a back-up plan.
While the new measures sections state that while there are current approved medications, they “do not treat all mental health conditions” and studies “report that psilocybin has shown efficacy, tolerability, and safety in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including addiction, depression, and anxiety disorders.” Anxiety and psychological distress at the end of life”.
The Senate separately approved non-binding resolutions with similar language and guidance last year.
But while current resolutions contain clauses calling on the working group to “develop a long-term strategic plan to ensure the availability of safe, accessible and affordable psilocybin-based therapeutic products for adults twenty-one years of age or older,” this has been modified The oath is on the committee Wednesday to make it so the FDA will first need to act before the state can help facilitate patient access to the drug.
The new language states that the strategic plan will focus on enabling “the availability of psilocybin in the event of FDA approval for medical use,” Chairman Garrett Kohukalule (D) said before the committee vote.
“So it’s a hypothetical long-term strategic plan,” the chairman said.
The proceduresany to request The formation of the Psilocybin Therapeutic Working Group under the state Department of Health says, “Hawaii has a shortage of mental health professionals, and should actively consider new, innovative and safe solutions to treat its citizens.”
Here’s what the working group will be asked, as requested, to consider:
Federal, state, and local laws, regulations, administrative rules, and procedures relating to the therapeutic use of psilocybin.
Available medical, psychiatric, and scientific studies and research, and other information regarding the safety and effectiveness of psilocybin in the treatment of mental health conditions.
Requirements, specifications, and guidelines for a medical professional to prescribe and provide psilocybin to patients in jurisdictions where psilocybin is approved for the treatment of mental health conditions.
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The body to be chaired by the head of the Health Department that submitted written statements against the two decisions.
“The Department recognizes that there is a potential benefit to this substance and its effect on mental health; however, we are not there yet” He said. “The studies conducted to date have been small and very controlled. Studies have also associated psychotherapy with the use of this hallucinogen. Finally, psilocybin is addictive and remains a Schedule 1 drug.”
Under these measures, the task force will be required to submit an initial report with its findings and recommendations within 20 days of the 2023 legislature session. A final report is due shortly after the start of the 2024 legislative session. As of July 1, 2024, the group will be dissolved by decisions .
These decisions are just examples of the many psilocybin measures pending in Hawaii — including a broader decriminalization of the substance and a demand for treatment centers to treat psilocybin — that have been introduced and may be taken up in the legislature at this session.
What also remains is whether Hawaii lawmakers will be willing to introduce a broader psilocybin bill that has been introduced for this hearing but has not been scheduled for committee hearings.
The Measurewhich is almost identical to law Project carried over from the 2021 session, that would remove psilocybin and psilocyn from the list of controlled substances and require the Ministry of Health to “establish treatment centers dedicated to the therapeutic administration” of the drugs. It will also establish a review committee to study and report on the effects of the reform to the legislature.
The bill’s text is the same as the legislation carried over in 2021, except that the deadlines the committee faced for submitting its annual reports begin one year later in the new version.
Also last year, The state legislature adopted a resolution The state is required to request a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) exemption that states that its medical cannabis program is allowed to operate without federal interference.
Hawaii is just one of the many states where lawmakers and activists are taking the lead in drug reform this year.
For example, the governor of Utah on Tuesday signed a bill to create a task force to study and make recommendations On the therapeutic potential of narcotic drugs and possible regulations for their legitimate use.
A Missouri House of Representatives committee on Monday held a hearing on a Republican-led bill to Legalization of a wide range of narcotic drugs for therapeutic use In dedicated care facilities with decriminalization of low-level tenure in general.
A Connecticut legislature approved a bill last week that would put the state on duty to provide some patients Get drug-assisted treatment With substances such as MDMA and psilocybin. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) signed a separate bill last year that includes language requiring the state to do so Conducting a study on the therapeutic potential From the fungus psilocybin. a work group Since then met to investigate the case.
A Maryland House of Delegates committee held a hearing last week on a bill to create a government fund Can be used to provide access to narcotics Such as psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Washington state legislature recently sent a budget bill to the governor’s office that includes a proposal for Directing $200,000 in funding to support a new working group To study the possibility of legalizing psilocybin services in the state, including the idea of using existing marijuana regulatory systems to track narcotic mushrooms.
Also this month, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill to Decriminalization of low-level psilocybin possession and promoting research into the therapeutic potential of the drug.
A bipartisan coalition of Georgia deputies introduced a resolution recently Calls for the formation of a study committee in the House of Representatives To investigate the therapeutic potential of drugs such as psilocybin and to make recommendations for repairs.
Rhode Island legislators introduced A pair of drug decriminalization bills this month— including one focused on psilocybin and buprenorphine that would allow doctors to prescribe psychedelic mushrooms.
A committee of the Oregon Senate also recently introduced a bill to secure property rights Incorporated into the state’s historic psilocybin therapy program It is actively implemented after voter approval in 2020.
A bill to decriminalize a wide variety of hallucinogens in Virginia was discussed by a House of Delegates committee in January, Only to be postponed until 2023. Separate Senate motion to decriminalize psilocybin alone He was later defeated by the Main Committee.
California Senator Scott Weiner, D, told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that his bill Legalization of drug possession He stands a 50/50 chance of getting to the governor’s office this year. It has already passed the full Senate and the two committees of the Assembly during the first half of the two-year session.
Washington state legislators The legislation was also introduced in January It would legalize what the bill calls “assisted psilocybin trials” for adults 21 and older.
Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania bill aimed at boosting research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin in some mental health conditions may be in jeopardy, with sponsor says the chair of a key House committee is Make reservations even after legislation It has been modified in an attempt to build support.
New Hampshire lawmakers introduced measures to Decriminalization of psilocybin and all drugs.
Legislation was As enacted by the Texas State Legislature Last year the state required a study of the medical risks and benefits of psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine for veterans in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and an Army-focused medical center.
A pair of Michigan senators also introduced a bill in September to Legalization of tenure, agriculture and handover A group of narcotic drugs derived from plants and fungi such as psilocybin and mescaline. Meanwhile, activists are collecting signatures to get The initiative to legalize the possession of narcotic drugs. The Hazel Park, Michigan City Council Tuesday Unanimous He agreed to a decision to decriminalize the drug such as psilocybin and ibogaine, making it the third city in the state to enact reform after Ann Arbor and Detroit.
In a setback for the movement, activists in California announced on Wednesday that they had failed to collect enough signatures Qualifies a procedure for the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms for the November state ballot, though they haven’t given up trying the future election cycle.
Meanwhile, Colorado activists recently chose one of the four polling initiatives for doping reform they drafted and submitted to the November ballot, choosing Proceed with a procedure to legalize psilocybinEstablishing licensed “healing centers” where people can use the drug for therapeutic purposes and providing a pathway to closing records for past convictions. competition campaign I filed a different drug legalization lawsuit last month.
At the congressional level, lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last month urging the agency to Allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin As investigative therapy without fear of federal prosecution.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia / mushroom watcher.