Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed into law legislation that will fund the creation of safe drug consumption sites and will establish a psychedelics task force to study a pathway to legalization.
The proposals allowing for safe drug consumption sites (also referred to as “overdose prevention centers”) and creating a psychedelic task force were passed by the legislature as part of larger omnibus bills that cover a variety of topics related to health and human services. The governor also signed a harm reduction bill that legalizes the possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Psychedelic Medicine Task Force, consisting of 23 members, will be tasked with advising lawmakers on “the legal, medical, and policy issues associated with the legalization of psychedelic medicine in the state.” The task force will focus on psilocybin, MDMA and LSD, and is being funded with a two-year appropriation of around half a million dollars.
In regards to safe drug consumption sites, Minnesota is now just the second state to allow such locations. These centers will allow for the medically supervised use of illegal drugs including heroin. The measure signed by Governor Walz directs the commissioner of human services to establish grants that “must be used to establish safe recovery sites that offer harm reductions services and supplies, including but not limited to safe injection spaces”. $14 million has been allocated for these grants.
“With a stroke of his pen, Governor Walz has taken bold and courageous action by signing SF2934, which supports and creates a pathway for the state to officially sanction the use of overdose prevention centers,” said Emily Kaltenbach, a spokesperson for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Doing so recognizes the reality that people will use drugs and the need to keep them safe while providing access to addiction services and supports.”