(HealthDay News) — Colorado voters have voted narrowly to approve the medical use of “magic mushrooms” in Colorado.
“I’m in awe of what we were able to accomplish,” said Veronica Lightning Horse Perez, a lead proponent for legalizing psilocybin, the main psychoactive compound in mushrooms. “Over a million people voted yes on this. To think that many people see the value in these medicines, that many people know that these can be used for healing — that’s huge.”
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called psilocybin a “breakthrough therapy,” which has sped up development of medications using the compound. Psilocybin may have potential as a treatment for a host of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, drug dependency, and eating disorders. Clinical trials to further research this are continuing.
A movement to legalize psilocybin is growing: Oregon voters approved allowing its therapeutic use in 2020, while it has been decriminalized in Washington, D.C., and more than a dozen additional cities, NBC News reported. An additional 19 states have seen the introduction of bills to legalize its possession, though none have been approved yet. These states include Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas. More than a dozen other states are seeking to further study its health benefits, including Florida.
Meanwhile, Hawaii’s state Senate has approved assembling a task force that would plan for making the drug available to adults as a mental health treatment. Connecticut has adjusted its state budget to fund programs that would use the drug in working with veterans and retired first responders. In the Oklahoma House of Representatives, a bill to authorize scientific research into psilocybin is headed to the Senate. It would allow state-run clinical trials for adults with specific conditions, NBC News reported.
Meanwhile, psilocybin remains illegal at the federal level and in most states, NBC News reported.