Breaking psychedelic news!

In the latest effort to decriminalise psychedelics in the United States, Utah Rep. Brady Brammer has authored a bill that would legalise magic mushrooms and magic truffles — both of which contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. His motivation? A groundswell of research in favour of the trippy substance and its potential for mental health.

Psychedelics to Help Treat Mental Illness

Psychedelics are more than just a good time, says Rep. Brady Brammer. (via Flickr, Public Domain)

In a talk with, Rep. Brammer shared his rationale behind HB167, which would allow the use of magic mushrooms and magic truffles for therapeutic purposes:

“We need effective tools to treat mental illness. If psychedelics can be helpful and safely administered, we need them in our toolbox.”

The fight towards the legalisation of psychedelics has come a long way, indeed. It was only in 2000, that the U.S. Government gave Johns Hopkins University the federal “go signal” to study psychedelics legally. 

Luckily, that sought-after proof came flooding in from 2006 onwards. The research giant published several studies on the potential use of psychedelics to help treat severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and end-of-life distress. 

Suddenly people began to realise shrooms were not a menace to society (as we’d known all along!)

Utah Drug Task Force

The Task Force on psychedelics will include a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and an actual patient who has taken psychotherapy drugs.

One strategy to help convince conservative voters in Utah is that psychedelic-based medicine would only be given to patients by qualified doctors and healthcare workers. HB167, should it pass into law, would allow the use of shrooms and magic truffles for their burgeoning potential as a cure for mental conditions.

On the reasoning behind it, Rep. Brammer said:

“Utah has some of the finest researchers in the areas of psychiatry and neurosciences at Huntsman Mental Health Institute. This bill seeks to leverage that expertise, along with other experts grappling with mental illness, to review the research results, and if appropriate, make recommendations on how to safely [give the medicine] under the care of qualified physicians.”

For the peace of mind of wary citizens, Brammer’s bill would first create a Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force. This group of experts is expected to “study and make recommendations on drugs that may assist in treating mental illness.”

Chief among these experts will be the executive director of the Utah Department of Health, and the CEO of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. Other team members will include a representative from the Utah Medical Association (who studies neuroscience and mental health); a licensed psychologist; a licensed psychiatrist; a health system representative; and a patient who has taken psychotherapy drugs for a long time.

Psychedelics to Fight Utah’s Mental Health Crisis

HB167 has to be airtight to protect mental health patients who take psychedelics, in the long run. 

The same task force will also be responsible for looking up the specific illnesses for which psychedelic drugs, such as magic mushrooms and magic truffles, may be taken as therapy. The group’s research will serve as the basis for recommending the proper drug and dosage, required licences for healthcare workers giving the drug. Why all the fuss, you may ask? That’s done to ensure the safety of mental health patients in the long run.

The Utah lawmaker’s fight to legalise magic mushrooms and magic truffles is far from being a pipe dream. As with other U.S. states that came before it such as Oregon, the legalisation of medical cannabis helped serve as a precedent for shrooms. 

Also! Rep. Brammer isn’t exactly alone, either. A strong two-punch assist in the legal battle comes from the Utah-based think tank Libertas Institute and the Utah Patients Coalition — which both succeeded in pushing cannabis for specific health issues. 

Will 2022 be psilocybin’s turn in Utah?

Psilocybin: The Psychedelic Ringleader

In recent years, psilocybin has shown promise as a viable (and much cheaper) alternative to antidepressants. (via Wholecelium)

The Libertas Institute says that psilocybin (and not marijuana) is the “main ringleader” that would soon replace Big Pharma in the mental health space. The think tank’s president, Connor Boyack, told about psilocybin’s bright future in Utah:

“Utah being what it is, we’re near or at the bottom for mental illness rankings, shortage of psychiatrists, a lot of these therapies don’t work and so forth. So this shows significant promise, and I know people personally who — after years of pharmaceuticals — have used psilocybin with substantial success.

Boyack said that those very same people stopped taking pharmaceuticals after using psilocybin as their “main medicine”. He also said that Rep. Brammar came up to Libertas to push the legalisation of magic mushrooms and other psychedelics. A last-ditch effort to solve Utah’s mental health crisis.

Next Steps for HB167 and Psilocybin

Slow and steady wins the race. 

So! What’s next for Utah’s courageous new bill to legalise psilocybin once and for all? According to Brammer, he expects to follow the game plan of Canada, which has legalised the psychoactive compound in shrooms and magic truffles for therapy. He also took notes on the recent wins of Oregon and the city of Denver to decriminalise psilocybin. It seems pretty soon, the U.S. will see the writing on the wall and end its outdated classification of shrooms as a Schedule 1 drug — a law that makes it illegal to cultivate or possess.

Should HB167 move forward in Utah, the assembled task force will gather in July or so to research the use of magic mushrooms for mental health. Then, whatever findings they come up with will be given to the Legislature in the autumn of 2022. Quite the lengthy process, right? However, it does stand a chance at actually turning into a law, which is the most important thing! 

Fingers crossed, Utah psychonauts! 

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