Vermont: Second Senate Committee Passes Bill to Decriminalize Psilocybin Mushrooms

Legislation to decriminalize the possession and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms has been given approval by a second Senate committee and will soon be considered by the full chamber.

Dried psilocybin mushrooms.

Senate Bill 114 has been given approval by the Senate Appropriations Committee, just days after it was passed by the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. Filed by Senator Martine Gulick along with eight cosponsors, the measure would “remove criminal penalties for possessing, dispensing, or selling psilocybin”. while establishing a Psychedelic Therapy Advisory Working Group.

According to its official legislative summary, this bill “proposes to make findings regarding the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, to remove criminal penalties for possession of psilocybin; and to establish the Psychedelic Therapy Advisory Working Group to examine the use of psychedelics to improve physical and mental health and to make recommendations regarding the establishment of a State program similar to Connecticut, Colorado, or Oregon to permit health care providers to administer psychedelics in a therapeutic setting.”

The text of the bill states that “A Johns Hopkins study published in 2022 demonstrated substantial antidepressant effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy for at least 12 months following acute intervention in some patients, with no reported  adverse effects or continued use of psilocybin by patients outside the context of the study.”

The measure also makes note of “A study published in 2022 in the Journal of American Medical Association Psychiatry on the therapeutic effects of psychedelics”, which “found that psilocybin combined with psychotherapy resulted in an 83 percent reduction in heavy drinking among patients with alcohol use disorder.”

Senate Bill 114 will soon be up for consideration by the full Senate. If passed by the Senate, it will be sent to the House of Representatives for Consideration. Passage through the House would put the measure before Governor Phil Scott.

The bill’s full text can be found by clicking here.

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