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Monday, May 29, 2023

Missouri House Approves Psilocybin Research Bill

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This week, the Missouri House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to a bill directing the state to conduct research on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, the primary psychoactive ingredient found in magic mushrooms. Measure House of Representatives 1154 From Republican State Representative Dan Hu, he received overwhelming support in the House of Representatives on Wednesday after securing approval by two House committees since the proposal was introduced last month. The legislation faces an additional vote in the House of Representatives before it is sent to the Missouri State Senate for consideration.

Speaking in support of the bill during the House debate on Wednesday, State Representative Aaron McMullen, a veteran who served in a combat unit in Afghanistan, noted that the suicide rate among veterans is twice that of the state, making it among the highest in the state. country.

“Drug Abuse and Suicide Are on the Rise in the Veteran’s Community,” McCullen said, Read from a letter from the Grunt Style Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving military veterans. “While psilocybin is not a panacea for every problem, it does represent the first real scientifically proven hope that we have to address this crisis.”

Research grants of $2 million

If passed by the full legislature and signed into law, the bill would require the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to provide up to $2 million in grants, subject to appropriation by the legislature, for research into psilocybin during the end- Life care and as a treatment for depression, substance use disorders, and other serious mental health conditions. The state agency will collaborate on the research, which will be conducted by the University of Missouri or a medical center run by the US Department of Veterans Affairs in the state.

The research will focus on the medical use of psilocybin for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and substance use disorders, or as a treatment for patients in end-of-life care. Previous versions of the bill also included the narcotic drugs MDMA, also known as ecstasy, and ketamine, but these drugs were omitted from action in the committee.

The legislation received unanimous support from the House Veterans Committee at a hearing earlier this month. Representative Dave Griffith, the committee chairman, told colleagues that while the bill is outside his “comfort zone,” according to a report from Missouri Independent, Yet he has his support.

“If you had told me five years ago that I was going to chair a committee and hear a bill where we were going to talk about narcotics for veterans, I would have told you, ‘You’re crazy,'” he said during the committee hearing.

Before Wednesday’s vote in the House of Representatives, Griffiths encouraged skeptics of psychedelic drug policy reform to review the “exhaustive” research into the therapeutic potential of drugs coming from the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

“I did hours and hours of research from Johns Hopkins,” he said. “The data that’s come out of these studies that they’ve done is fantastic.”

Studies by Johns Hopkins and other researchers have shown that psilocybin has the potential to be an effective treatment for many serious mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and substance use disorders. a Study published in 2020 In the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Psychiatry, I found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was a fast-acting and effective treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder. And Separate search The publication in 2016 determined that psilocybin treatment led to a significant and sustained reduction in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.

Federal agencies including the Food and Drug Administration are currently reviewing the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat serious mental health conditions. In June, the head of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration wrote to US Rep. Madeline Dean, D-Penn., that FDA approval of psilocybin for depression was likely within the next two years.

As the nation faces rising rates of substance abuse and mental health issues “we must explore the potential of psychedelic-assisted therapies to address this crisis,” Miriam E. Delphine Rhytmon, Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, wrote to Dean.

A separate legalization bill is pending in Missouri

a separate invoice Introduced by Republican State Representative Tony Lovasco in January that would legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin for people with serious mental health conditions. Under the law, patients will be able to use psilocybin for severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or the mental health effects of a terminally ill diagnosis. Psilocybin-assisted treatment will also be available for patients with other conditions for which conventional treatments have not been effective, with the approval of regulators.

Although the bill does not legalize psilocybin, it does provide a positive defense against criminal prosecution for patients who possess up to four grams of the drug for therapeutic use. The procedure also offers similar protection to mental health professionals who administer psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.

More than 1,000 people die by suicide each year in Missouri, a rate 25% higher than the national average. And nationally, suicide rates among veterans have also gone up.

Lovasco told Missouri Independent earlier this year. “We have, what 20 veterans a day commit suicide? That’s an awful lot to lose while we wait for the government to do some paperwork.”

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