State psychedelics legalization and policy roundup — March 2024
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State psychedelics legalization and policy roundup — March 2024

The current state proposals fall into a few broad categories, primarily regulated access and decriminalization of psychedelics.

This post is part of an ongoing series summarizing state-based psychedelic reforms intended for policy professionals. 

The 2024 legislative season is in full swing, with several states proposing some form of psychedelic legalization. The current state proposals fall into a few broad categories, primarily regulated access and decriminalization of psychedelics.

Regulated access

The most popular psychedelics proposal in statehouses nationwide is the creation of state systems for regulated, in-person, professionally guided experiences in clinical facilities. Oregon first pioneered this approach when voters approved Measure 109 in 2020.

In California, state Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 1012 as a response to Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoing his bill last year that would have decriminalized personal possession and cultivation of some botanical psychedelics. In his veto message, Gov. Newsom asked for a bill that includes “therapeutic guidelines.” Weiner’s office has interpreted this to mean an Oregon-style market.

In Arizona, the state Senate passed a similar regulated access bill, Senate Bill 1570, from state Sen. T.J. Shope (R-District 8). Politically, this psychedelics bill is interesting because it got half its Senate votes from Republicans and thus far has sailed through Republican-controlled state legislature. And unlike some of its counterparts in deeply blue states like New York, the bill explicitly allows psychedelics to be used for non-medical purposes. The bill would prevent a health agency from requiring a diagnosis for services.

In Hawaii, both chambers have introduced a bill that would essentially create the same regulated framework of professionally guided therapy but with a slight legal twist that gives certified facilitators an affirmative defense against prosecution for providing therapy under approved conditions. The bill does not provide a system for manufacturing, so it seems that patients would have to cultivate the substances themselves.

In Maine, state Sen. Donna Bailey (D-District 14) has introduced Senate Bill 1914, which legalizes personal cultivation of up to four ounces of dried mushrooms and creates a system for professionally guided services. As of this writing, it came from back its committee, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, with members officially “divided” over whether the bill should pass, but it can still be sent to the full chamber for a vote.

Despite minor variations in the legislative text between the states, nearly all of the proposals for regulated psychedelics access defer most of the specifics about how the market will operate to agency rulemaking. For example, in Arizona, the bill does not specify that the state would allow group-based psychedelic therapy, although the agency of jurisdiction could provide for this through rulemaking.


Perhaps the most promising psychedelics decriminalization bill comes from New Jersey. Senate Bill 2283 is sponsored by state Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-District 22), who previously championed the state’s cannabis legalization. The massive bill is similar to Colorado’s Proposition 122, decriminalizing possession and charging the state to create a regulated framework for professional services. The bill only applies to psilocybin.

In Connecticut, state Rep. David Michel (D-District 146) introduced Senate Bill 5297 to decriminalize personal amounts of psilocybin. However, a spokesperson for Gov. Ned Lamont has expressed concerns, which could spell an uphill political battle for the bill.

In Vermont, state Sen. Martine Gulick (D-Chittenden Central District ) introduced a bill, S. 114, to create an advisory group to recommend decriminalizing psilocybin.

In Rhode Island, Representative Brandon Potter (D-District 16) introduced HB 7047, which temporarily removes penalties for possessing psilocybin until mid-2026.

In California, activists from the psychedelic church Zide Door failed to collect enough signatures for a decriminalization ballot initiative and announced they would attempt to get on the ballot in 2026.

Reason Foundation research director Geoff Lawrence offered commentary on the different approaches to psychedelics legalization for Double Blind

Ohio looks to become the next frontier for ibogaine research

Ohio policymakers are exploring the potential of ibogaine for the treatment of opioid addiction and other conditions. Bryan Hubbard will spearhead a public-private partnership between the Reaching Everyone in Distress (REID) Foundation and the state treasurer’s office. Hubbard resigned from his post as the chair of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission after the incoming state attorney general disagreed with his effort to allocate a portion of settlement funds restricted for opioid abatement initiatives toward ibogaine clinical trials.

Reason Foundation recently published a policy brief compiling the available research on using ibogaine as a potential treatment for opioid addiction and comparing its effectiveness to existing treatments like methadone or buprenorphine.

Colorado’s professional guide market is taking shape

Colorado’s Proposition 122 charged the state with creating a regulated framework for psychedelic-assisted therapy. A board of appointed experts is directed to make recommendations to public agencies, who will ultimately draft the new regulations. Both the board and agencies have held ongoing meetings.

After months of deliberation, The Natural Medicine Advisory Board has completed its draft recommendations on facilitator regulations. The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Natural Medicine Division will host rulemaking meetings and seek public input over the coming months before its final rulemaking for the upcoming regulated psychedelics market. The draft rules are largely similar to those in Oregon, which require over 100 hours of curriculum at approved schools and hands-on experience.

The most recent rulemaking meeting was held on March 20, and the next one is planned for April 10. Some standout proposed rules differ from Oregon’s model:

  • Unlike Oregon, Colorado’s model will permit psychedelics-assisted therapy for mental health issues. Oregon’s is technically “adult use” and is explicitly not for mental health treatment. But, in Colorado, the proposed rule states that facilitators may only practice psychedelic medicine if they already hold a license to treat specific illnesses.
  • A “training” license would be offered for students to gain experience and earn money facilitating psychedelic sessions before being certified to facilitate on their own. This license was based on the common apprenticeship system used in indigenous cultures.
  • A distinguished educator license is meant to allow training programs to “import” qualified teachers in the early stages of the new market when not many Colorado school graduates have experience. A distinguished educator could have received a license from Oregon or someone who can demonstrate significant expertise in psychedelics.
  • One of the easier licenses to obtain, a “facilitator license,” comes with a restriction against overseeing people who fall under a list of contraindicated illnesses, including psychosis and bipolar disorder.
  • The training requirements allow up to 50% of the educational curriculum (“didactic”) to be virtual. However, they must be “synchronous,” meaning it must be a live class and can’t simply be a recording or reading assignment.
  • Trainees are required to do an additional 50 hours of consultations with someone experienced in psychedelic facilitation, in addition to around 150 hours of curriculum and 40 hours of practicum.

Join us for a taping of The Reason Interview in New York City

Reason’s Nick Gillespie will record an episode of The Reason Interview podcast with Kat Murti, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, on May 8th in New York City. Full details and tickets are available here.