The Providence Jnl Reports
So-called “magic mushrooms” are the latest mind-altering forbidden substance that some Rhode Island lawmakers want to make legal.
State Rep. Brandon Potter, a Cranston Democrat, has proposed decriminalizing possession of psilocybin, the naturally occurring hallucinogen found in certain mushroom species and taken illicitly for years as a psychedelic.
“There is evidence that this is effective in treating anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental conditions,” Potter said Monday. “It also reflects a shift we have had in recent years about criminalizing substances … I don’t think we should criminalize drug use.”
Potter’s mushroom bill is reminiscent of the very early stages of the marijuana-legalization push in Rhode Island, which focused on decriminalizing possession of small quantities of the drug and allowing medical use.
He said his intent is not to legalize street sales or set the stage for mushroom shops to pop up across the state.
The bill does not set up a structure to tax or regulate psilocybin, and it’s unclear who could prescribe medical mushrooms or where you would go to get a prescription filled. The bill would also decriminalize buprenorphine, a drug used to combat opioid dependence.
Potter said the bill still needs lot of work, and that he introduced it to get a conversation started about the issue. He did not seek out a Senate sponsor.