Vt. ‘magic mushroom’ decriminalization bills await action

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Published: May. 5, 2023 at 9:55 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A push to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Vermont will likely have to wait for another year.

Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been studied for its therapeutic benefits for depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD -- including for veterans. Medical experts say it targets a part of the brain that produces serotonin but does not need to be taken daily like anti-depressants.

A pair of bills at the Statehouse would decriminalize possession of mushrooms and create an advisory group on using them for treatments.

“When I saw that the VA was willing to look into this as a therapeutic mode, I thought this is another tool in the toolbox that we can use to provide assistance to veterans who come back from war and suffer post-traumatic stress,” said Rep. Joseph “Chip” Troiano, D-Stannard.

Vermont health officials haven’t said what they think about the legislation yet. The bills haven’t moved in committee so far and lawmakers say they are aiming for the next session.

Oregon this year became the first state to legalize magic mushrooms. Similar ballot measures and legislation have been introduced in several other states.

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