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Maine's Legislative Shift: Forming a Commission to Explore Regulated Psychedelic Therapies

Updated: Mar 31

Maine legislators have recently progressed with a modified proposal to form a commission dedicated to exploring the regulation of psychedelic therapies. This move came after a 9-2 vote by the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, which convened in January to evaluate the proposal. Originally aimed at legalizing psilocybin for adult use in licensed settings, the bill was ultimately scaled back, much to the disappointment of advocates aiming for quicker legal access.

The commission, officially titled "Commission To Study Pathways For Creating a Psilocybin Services Program in Maine," is tasked with investigating how the state could regulate psychedelic substances, specifically psilocybin. The goal is to establish a regulatory framework to ensure that psilocybin services are a safe, accessible, and affordable therapeutic option for adults deemed suitable for such treatments. The commission is also expected to provide the legislature with recommendations for a legal framework for the therapeutic application of psychedelic drugs, with a report due by November 6, 2024.

Representative David Boyer (R), a staunch advocate for drug policy reform, expressed that the amendment represents progress, albeit not as much as he and others had hoped for. Boyer, who has a background in drug policy activism and played a significant role in Maine's marijuana legalization campaign, voiced concerns over the committee's hesitancy to support the original proposal, highlighting a need for equitable access to psilocybin services, especially for those in lower income brackets.

As the bill moves to the full Senate and then the House for further consideration, Boyer remains hopeful for its success. He anticipates that Governor Janet Mills (D) will either sign the bill into law or allow it to pass without her intervention. Additionally, Boyer mentioned the possibility of a citizen-initiated ballot measure to advance psychedelic reform, suggesting widespread support among the public for such initiatives.


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