After decades of prohibition, psychedelics are generating intense public and private interest. Scientists are researching the therapeutic properties of these substances, and mounting evidence supports their ability to treat a variety of mental health conditions. Meanwhile, dozens of cities and states are proposing or enacting psychedelics legislation to promote research, increase therapeutic and non-therapeutic access, and decrease criminal penalties associated with producing, possessing, or consuming psychedelics.
This article is the first to produce a typology of state and local psychedelic laws, which fall into five general categories: decriminalization, supported adult use, medical use, clinical research, and policy analysis. The article defines each category and explains how some jurisdictions create hybrid psychedelic laws that blend categories. Following enactment, government agencies can shift laws from one category to another during the rulemaking process.
Funding Information: The author received funding for this research through employment with the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR) at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, which itself receives funding from the Saisei Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas.
Conflict of Interests: Mason Marks is a member of the Psychedelic Bar Association. He serves on the boards of non-profit organizations in the psychedelic space such as the Psychedelic Medicine Coalition and the Plant Medicine Healing Alliance. As an unpaid volunteer, Marks chaired the Licensing Subcommittee of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board before moving out of state to serve as the Florida Bar Health Law Section Professor at Florida State University.
Keywords: psychedelic, psilocybin, drug law, drug policy, drug regulation, FDA, DEA, controlled substance, Controlled Substances Act, psilocybin services, natural medicine health act, measure 109, proposition 122, expanded access, ayahuasca, mescaline, ibogaine, psychedelic therapy