Advocates Set in Motion Efforts to Legalize Psychedelics in Washington State

December 2, 2020 15:25:12

Marijuana reform advocates in Oregon had separate measures on the ballot that called for the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use and the decriminalization of the possession of all drugs on election day. Both ballot measures were approved, which may have inspired advocates in nearby Washington State to set their sights on similar reforms.

Two measures were recently announced in the state: one aimed at legalizing mushrooms to be used in therapy as well as decriminalizing drug possession on a small scale in 2022, and the second pursues the expansion of the administrative measures already in place into psilocybin mushroom access for use by end-of-life care patients. This comes after advocates announced a different plan that works towards swaying legislators to approving a decriminalization for all drug bills in 2021.

Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, a health-care professional who specializes in end-of-life care, is behind this new psychedelic mushroom push. Aggarwal hopes to be allowed by federal and state regulators to grow psychedelic mushrooms and utilize them in patient treatments.

He explains that psilocybin mushrooms can be grown safely and, with the right doses, can help in many ways. Aggarwal’s clinic, the Advanced Integrative Medical Science Institute, is working to gain legal access to psychedelic treatments that would allow terminal disease patients to try medications that are still being investigated and have not been approved. The state has yet to review Aggarwal’s application.

Outgoing President Donald Trump had given the go ahead for the “Right To Try Act” earlier in 2018 that would allow some patients access to drugs that had not yet been approved for use by the FDA. MDMA, cannabis and psilocybin fit this criteria, as all these drugs are under active development and are in the midst of clinical trials. Prior to this, a similar law had been adopted by the state of Washington in 2017.

Apart from approval from the Health Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission in Washington State, Aggarwal also needs approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”). In addition, a top supporter of the drug-reform initiatives in his own state of Oregon, David Bronner has stated that the state of Washington is next on his list. Bronner has long backed drug-reform campaigns and noted in a recent interview that he’d like to see voters from Washington approving both the reforms being presented on the 2022 ballot.

The state’s first proposal would also eliminate the criminal penalties imposed on drug possession while broadening the treatment for substance misuse.

Meanwhile, Rritual Superfoods Inc. has been making premium products that contain medicinal mushrooms and adaptogens as well as other superfoods, all geared towards enabling people to meet the challenges they face today. This goes to show how huge the functional mushrooms space is set to grow in North America and around the world over the coming years.

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