The Current State of Legalization and Decriminalization of Psychedelics in the United States

The current state-by-state update on the legalization and decriminalization of psychedelics, as of August 2023.



By Holly Baumgartner-Parker



There is proposed legislation (House Bill 2486)  that aims to allocate funds and advance research on psilocybin.




Currently, there is a push to decriminalize the possession and personal use of certain natural psychedelics, including psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, mescaline, and ibogaine. This legislation follows recent resolutions passed in several cities that prioritize law enforcement resources away from personal use and possession of these substances. Senate Bill 58, introduced in December 2022, would make it legal to possess and use these substances for personal, facilitated, or supported purposes.




Coloradans made history by passing Proposition 122, which legalized aspects of natural psychedelics and established state-approved “healing centers” for those over 21. This move towards the decriminalization of possession and personal use of certain natural psychedelics is an exciting trend to watch in the coming years. It’s worth noting that currently, only psilocybin and psilocyn are classified as “natural medicine,” but there may be other substances included in the future.

Additionally, the proposition decriminalized the possession, use, and cultivation of natural medicine for personal use, as long as it is done in a private home or residence and secured from access by minors. Recently, Senate President Steven Fenberg introduced SB23-290, which amends the regulatory language from Proposition 122. The bill puts penalties on public consumption and creates a legal framework for use at healing centers, among other things.




Connecticut is considering legalizing and decriminalizing small amounts of psilocybin for medical and therapeutic use. The House Bill 6734 was approved in May 2023 and would become effective on October 1, 2023. Possession of over ½ ounce of psilocybin by individuals under 21 would result in a temporary driver’s license suspension.


District of Columbia 


Entheogenic plants and fungi are now considered the lowest law enforcement priority in D.C., and their possession and non-commercial use is legal. This was made possible by Initiative Measure No. 81, which was approved by residents on November 3. People aged 18 and above who plant, cultivate, purchase, transport, distribute, engage in practices with, or possess these substances for non-commercial purposes will be considered as the lowest priority possible by the Metropolitan Police Department.




In Florida, there are bills in both the House and Senate that are aimed at authorizing research into the potential medical benefits of psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine. 




Lawmakers are proposing a committee to look into using psilocybin for therapy.




Lawmakers are considering legalizing psilocybin for medical use. Research on safety and effectiveness is necessary before making a final decision.




There’s a proposed House Bill for a state Psilocybin Advisory Board, psilocybin services, record expungement, and down-scheduled psilocybin and psilocin regulations.



There are two pieces of legislation currently being introduced in Iowa. The first aims to decriminalize and legalize psilocybin, while the second seeks to decriminalize specific psychedelic substances for patients who have serious illnesses.




Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on May 31, 2023, that the state plans to allocate $42 million from its portion of the Opioid Settlement Fund to fund research on addiction treatment using ibogaine.




On May 9th, 2023, LD1914 was introduced to enforce the Maine Psilocybin Health Access Act. This act is modeled after Oregon’s law, which permits licensed manufacturers to administer psilocybin at licensed service centers under the guidance of licensed psilocybin facilitators. Moreover, the act would decriminalize the personal possession, growth, and utilization of small amounts of psilocybin by individuals aged 21 or older. However, as of May 22, 2023, the legislature has put the bill on hold.




Maryland lawmakers submitted a proposal to the governor, which will create a state fund to provide free access to psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA, and Ketamine for military veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. On May 27, 2022, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that he would allow the said proposal to take effect without his signature. The measure, which was introduced by Sen. Sarah Elfreth, passed unanimously through both chambers before being sent to the governor’s office.




In the cities of Somerville, Cambridge, Northampton, and Easthampton, personal use and possession of entheogenic plants have been delegated to the lowest level of law enforcement priority. Statewide legislation has been introduced to decriminalize personal drug possession and separately to study the legalization of entheogenic plants and fungi.





The lowest priority for law enforcement in the cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Hazel Park, and Washtenaw County, where it is the county seat, is personal use and possession of entheogenic plants. Additionally, legislation to decriminalize Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 drugs as well as legalizing “Natural Plants and Mushrooms” throughout the state has been introduced.




A bill has been proposed to establish a task force to research and provide recommendations on the legalization of particular psychedelic chemicals.




Certain psychedelics may now be used by patients with life-threatening illnesses, and legislation has been introduced to lessen the penalty for personal drug possession.

HB 1154 was adopted by the House Veterans Committee on March 7, 2023, with a vote of 11-0. The legislation mandates that a study be done on the effectiveness of using MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine for the treatment of PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, substance abuse disorders, or end-of-life care in collaboration with a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. The law would go into effect on August 28, 2023, if it were to be approved by the Missouri Senate and signed by the Governor.


New Hampshire 


According to a State Supreme Court case, if the use of certain psychedelics satisfies the criteria for religious activity, it might be protected by the state constitution of New Hampshire. House Bill 328, which modifies state penalties for the selling, making, or possessing with intent to sell LSD and PCP for adults and only applies to individuals under the age of 21, was also introduced in January.


New Jersey 


A law that was passed in February 2021 lessened the punishment for having psilocybin on hand for personal usage.


New Mexico 


On March 1st, 2023, HB393 was introduced in the New Mexico House. A Psilocybin Advisory Group would be established to investigate and provide a report on the viability of setting up a program to use psilocybin-derived products to treat individuals with certain mental health or drug use issues in a clinical environment. This includes establishing a legal framework for the production and distribution of psilocybin-derived goods for medical purposes. Along with patient screening, education, and certification, it also entails the creation of therapeutic guidelines for the use of drugs derived from psilocybin. It would also keep an eye on legal and regulatory matters as well as the implementation of initiatives of a similar nature in other states. 


New York 


A bill has been presented to establish a public psychedelic research center and research program, a medical psilocybin program, and to allocate $2 million for the use of psilocybin to treat veterans and first responders. Additionally, several measures for decriminalization have been introduced.




Psilocybin decriminalization and MDMA and psilocybin research promotion legislation has been introduced.


North Carolina


On April 18, 2023, HB 727 was presented. This legislation would create the Breakthrough Therapies Research Grant Fund, which would provide a total of $2.5M to qualified research initiatives. MDMA or psilocybin research must be carried out in the State using grant money provided under HB 727. In addition, to be considered for funding, MDMA research must focus on treating PTSD in veterans, first responders, frontline medical personnel, or victims of domestic abuse and/or sexual assault. Psilocybin research must focus on treating anxiety or depression disorders and must examine the effects on pain. The legislation would allow for study of MDMA and psilocybin as a treatment for various populations.




Psilocybin-assisted therapy and personal possession were both legalized in Oregon for the first time in November 2020.  According to Oregon law, the state must grant licenses to four different types of people: producers of psilocybin products, testing facilities for those products, facilitators who assist clients with preparation, administration, and integration sessions, and service centers where psilocybin products are sold to and consumed by clients in a supportive environment.




HB 2421 was introduced on March 16, 2022. The Psilocybin Data Act allows for psilocybin and psilocybin-assisted therapy research and clinical investigations. The law offers a foundation for investigation into novel approaches to maximize psilocybin’s positive effects on public health.


Rhode Island 


A bill to decriminalize the hallucinogen psilocybin was approved by the Rhode Island House of Representatives. If passed, the law would also permit the use of psilocybin as a treatment for persistent mental health issues, subject to FDA approval.




HB1802 became a law on June 18, 2021. From September 1, 2021, until September 1, 2023, it will be in force. The proposed legislation calls for a study to be carried out under the direction of the Department of State Health Services to assess the effectiveness of alternative therapies, such as MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine, in treating a number of different mental health and medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and migraines. 




The Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force was established by the passage of HB167 by the legislature in 2022. Its mandate was to study and report on psilocybin research. The task force’s report showed that this drug is both safe and effective.




S 114 was introduced in Vermont on March 1, 2023. The bill seeks to establish the Psychedelic Therapy Advisory Working Group to study the use of psychedelics to improve physical and mental health and to make recommendations regarding the establishment of a state program similar to Connecticut, Colorado, or Oregon to permit health care providers to administer psychedelics in a therapeutic setting. It also will remove criminal penalties for possession of psilocybin.




SB 932 was introduced on January 11, 2023, which would create a Virginia Psilocybin Advisory Board to “develop a long-term strategic plan for establishing therapeutic access to psilocybin services and monitor and study federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding psilocybin.” The Advisory Board would consist of 12 non-legislative citizens who would be chosen by the governor, and it would submit a yearly report to the governor and general assembly. Additionally, the bill would reschedule psilocybin from a Schedule I to a Schedule III banned substance under the State Drug Control Act. The Committee on Education and Health received a referral regarding it. After being read a third time on February 7, 2023, SB 932 was approved by the Senate 25 to 15 votes.




A measure to support psilocybin research and establish a pilot program for therapeutic access for the treatment of mental illness has been signed by the governor of Washington State.



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