A Republican Missouri lawmaker on Wednesday filed a bill to give residents with serious illnesses legal access to a range of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, ibogaine and LSD through an expanded version of the state’s existing right-to-try law.
This is the second time that Rep. Michael Davis (R) has filed the legislation, which he says will align Missouri statute with federal right-to-try law which was “passed by a conservative majority in Congress and signed by President Trump in 2018.”
“There is emerging interest and significant clinical research supporting the safety and efficacy of psychedelic drugs for PTSD, traumatic injury therapy and numerous other conditions,” Davis said in a press release. “Because the [Food and Drug Administration] has not taken action to reschedule these drugs and make them generally available, I am working to make these drugs available through Missouri’s investigational drug access statute.”
Under the bill, state statute would be amended so that it would not be considered an offense for patients participating in the right-to-try policy to possess Schedule I drugs such as MDMA, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, peyote and psilocybin.
The text of the proposal also states that the “production and distribution of any Schedule I psychedelic drug that qualifies as an investigational drug…by a manufacturer and any dispensation of such drug by a physician or pharmacy for use in accordance with this section shall be considered lawful.”
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The existing law, which currently allows patients with terminal illnesses to qualify, would also be expanded to cover those with debilitating and life-threatening conditions as well.
“The last few years of the COVID pandemic has created an epidemic of severe depression and other serious mental issues,” Zinia Thomas of Radiance Ketamine in St. Louis said. “Representative Davis’s bill gives us desperately needed clinically validated options to address a range of mental health conditions and hopefully stem the tide as suicides increase year over year.”
Davis also discussed his psychedelics proposal at an event in November.
“As a clinical psychologist with extensive experience treating combat-related PTSD with our veteran community, as well as depression and anxiety, I strongly believe that Rep. Davis’ bill offers an opportunity for Missouri veterans and those suffering from mental illness’ that haven’t responded to traditional treatments to have access to novel and effective therapies,” Larry Shapiro of the St. Louis-based Quantum Behavioral said.
“Psychedelic medicines and integration therapy have demonstrated enormous potential to address the mental health needs in our state and across the country,” he added. “I call on the Missouri General Assembly to advance this proposal in 2022.”
Meanwhile in Missouri, another Republican lawmaker is again making a push to place marijuana legalization on the ballot. But some activists aren’t waiting on the legislature to take action to refer the issue to voters, with one campaign officially launching signature gathering last month for a separate reform initiative.
Rep. Shamed Dogan (R) recently pre-filed his joint resolution to place a constitutional amendment on legalization on the 2022 ballot. He introduced a similar proposal last year, but it did not advance.
Under the lawmaker’s plan, adults 21 and older could purchase, possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use. It does not specify allowable amounts.
Separately, the group New Approach Missouri, which successfully got a medical cannabis initiative passed by voters in 2018, announced last summer its plans to put the reform proposal on the ballot through its new campaign committee Legal Missouri 2022.
The organization tried to place the issue of legalization before voters in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed that effort.
Despite the health crisis, activists managed to collect 80,000 raw signatures within months, though they needed 160,199 valid signatures to qualify.
A separate campaign, Fair Access Missouri, is separately exploring multiple citizen initiatives with the hopes of getting at least one on the ballot next year. Three of the four would create a system of legalized cannabis sales for adults 21 and older, while another would simply amend the state’s existing medical marijuana program.
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