Days after starting adult-use cannabis sales in the state, New York legislators announced a bill that would decriminalize the use of some plant or fungi-based psychedelics for religious ceremonies.
The bill will officially be introduced on Wednesday but was presented last week by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and it is co-sponsored by Assembly members Jo Anne Simon and Karines Reyes. The next step is for health committee members to review the bill.
Bill A00114 would legalize adult possession and use of DMT, ibogaine, mescaline, psilocybin and psilocin which occur in plants and certain fungi. Adults over 21 will be able to use psychedelics if used for religious or therapeutical purposes. Local law enforcement will also be prohibited from providing assistance to the federal government in enforcing drug laws around the psychedelics.
Under the bill, people who use psychedelics won’t lose their professional licenses and employers would not be able to take action against someone who uses psychedelics off work.
Last year, Rosenthal introduced a bill to create a psychedelics research institute to look at the therapeutical potential of the substances under certain conditions and create policies around it.
Along with Pat Burke, Rosenthal also supported another measure related to medical use of psilocybin for certain patients and participated in a psychedelics symposium this year.
If the bill is passed, New York would join Oregon, California and Colorado in decriminalizing psilocybin and other psychedelics for medical purposes.
Last week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued eight proclamations from voter-approved ballot measures and propositions including Proposition 122 which is designed to regulate access for medical purposes to some psychedelics that occur in plants and mushrooms.
In 2020, Oregon voters were the first to pass Measure 109 which decriminalized psilocybin and allowed therapeutic use. California also allows the use of psilocybin and ketamine for medical purposes but DMT requires a religious exemption.