Illinois eyes 'magic mushroom' legalization

The proposed bill, called the Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act (CURE Act), aims to allow individuals with various disorders, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety, to access psilocybin for medical purposes.

Illinois eyes 'magic mushroom' legalization
AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer
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Illinois, a state where medical cannabis has been legal for some time, is now witnessing a push toward the legalization of psilocybin, commonly referred to as psychedelic mushrooms, for therapeutic use.

State Senator Rachel Ventura, a member of the Democratic Party, has introduced legislation aimed at allowing psilocybin to be used in medical treatments and therapies.

The proposed bill, named the Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act (CURE Act), seeks to enable individuals suffering from a range of disorders, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety, to access psilocybin for medical purposes. This initiative marks a significant step in the exploration of alternative treatments and recognizes the potential benefits of psilocybin in addressing mental health issues.

While the CURE Act is designed to pave the way for medical applications of psilocybin, it strictly maintains the substance's illegal status for recreational use. The proposal underscores a careful approach to integrating psychedelics into healthcare, focusing on therapeutic benefits while addressing concerns about misuse, Just the News reports.

“Fifteen percent of people with serious depression end up committing suicide and it's increasing in most demographics in Illinois,” Ventura said. “Emerging research indicates that psychedelic medicine has the potential to break through in treating these and other conditions.”

In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized the drug with "breakthrough therapy" status to facilitate research.

David Franco, associated with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, acknowledged the existence of resistance from law enforcement organizations.

“What I gathered from that discussion was that it is illegal and we are going to enforce it,” Franco said.

The proposal contains a provision detailing how the drug will be paid for.

“The bill currently has that Medicaid would have to cover this,” said Ventura. “Some of the beginning estimates are looking at $10 a gram and a typical dose to be 2 to 4 grams, so we’re looking at $20 to $40 for that.”

In 2020, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize mushrooms and authorize their supervised consumption, thanks to a ballot measure approved by voters.

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