(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A bill to legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms as a treatment for behavioral health problems has been introduced to the Washington State Senate, The Post Millennial reported.
State Senator Jessie Salomon introduced the the “Washington Psilocybin Wellness and Opportunity Act,” which is based on a similar law passed in Oregon in 2020.
Denver was the first US city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in 2019; the Seattle City Council followed their lead in October of 2020.
This newly introduced law is entering the second year of a two-year phase-in.
This law differs from the Oregon law in that a doctor or licensed counselors would not be the only ones able to prescribe mushrooms. Users do not need an official diagnosis in order to take the drug.
The chemical in the “magic mushrooms,” psilocybin, would be available for “not just therapeutic use, but also for ‘creative’ purposes,” according to the PM report.
Under the proposed legislation, people aged 21 or older would be permitted to take the mushrooms at a registered facility with supervision.
“Some people want to use it for their own self-exploration and betterment without having a diagnosis,” Salomon said. “Who am I to say they shouldn’t do that?”
“Native, indigenous societies have been doing this for thousands of years,” Salomon added, if only to virtue signal. “We have to give them a way for their traditional shamans and practitioners to do this.”
Studies on psilocybin have shown that using it in therapy can exacerbate symptoms of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or depression.
These mushrooms have also been known to drive the patient to physical violence against themselves or others. According to a Johns Hopkins Medicine survey, some patients have also sought medical care after taking psilocybin.
The bill may receive a hearing at a legislative health care committee during the current session.