A majority of US states will legalize psychedelics by 2037, according to a new analysis published in a journal of theAmerican Medical Association and based on a statistical model of the cannabis legalization movement in the United States.
Psychedelic drug reform has progressed “rapidly and patchily” in the United States – and while the decriminalization movement has begun in the most liberal states, “psychedelic drug reform is becoming a bipartisan issue”, According to the study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) psychiatry.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis compiled and analyzed data on psychedelic laws that were introduced and enacted in cities and individual states across the United States, as well as ballot initiatives on the issue from 2019 to 2022.
Beginning with Denver’s landmark decision to decriminalize psilocybin in May 2019, the psychedelic renaissance has exploded in recent years, taking the form of proposals to end criminalization, promote research, and legalize it for uses therapeutics, as Oregon voters chose to do in the 2020 ballot. Colorado followed last month with a voter-approved initiative to legalize the possession of a wide range of psychedelics by adults while setting up “healing centers” for psilocybin.
Psychedelics are becoming decriminalizing in the US by state legislation at a dizzying and accelerating rate. See our analysis of legislation out today in JAMA Psych: https://t.co/BQinEm3Hlw
— Joshua Siegel (@realJoshSiegel) December 8, 2022
This movement “requires consensus on treatment models, education and guidance of healthcare professionals, and planning for implementation and regulation,” the study says.
The analysis shows that half of US states have reviewed a total of 74 psychedelic bills. 10 bills have already been enacted and 32 remain active. The researchers also noted that the majority of reform measures “specified psilocybin,” with MDMA being the second most frequently mentioned substance.
“While early legislative efforts were made in liberal states, the margin between liberal and conservative states has narrowed over time (although the difference is not significant), suggesting that psychedelic drug reform is in progress. becoming a bipartisan issue,” the researchers said.
“An analytical model based on cannabis legalization predicts that a majority of states will legalize psychedelics by 2034 to 2037,” they said.
The authors of the study added that the “future of psychedelics” in this country will also be influenced by several key factors such as the results of “decisions of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on ongoing clinical trials”, the possible actions of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on the classification of psychedelics as controlled substances and “state-level legislative reform, which has been the primary driver of cannabis legalization.”
“Cannabis has achieved legalization through legislative reform in most states, despite the DEA’s continued Schedule I status and the lack of FDA approval,” the study said. “Now, state law reforms are changing the outlook for treating psychedelics and cracking down on illicit drugs. »
Future consideration of psychedelic policy change “should address key health care issues such as establishing (1) standards for drugs obtained outside the medical establishment, (2) licensing criteria for prescribers and therapists, (3) clinical and billing infrastructure, (4) potential contraindications, and (5) use in special populations such as youth, older adults and pregnant people. »
“The results of our study showed that, after decades of legal restriction, US states have rapidly moved towards increased access to psychedelics. Decriminalization is just one step in a complex process to turn these compounds into safe and effective therapies. This process will have important consequences for the medical and scientific community. Integrating psychedelic treatment into clinical practice will require peeling back many layers of legal prohibition and FDA approval, clarifying prescribing guidelines, and developing treatment models that work for drugmakers, doctors and patients. »