California congressman introduces bill to protect communities with legal mushrooms
Cities and states continue to decriminalize psychedelics, dissenting from federal law (much like the cannabis industry). One lawmaker seeks to empower these states to do as they wish—without fear of the feds.
Congressman Robert Garcia (D-CA) introduced the Validating Independence for State Initiatives on Organic Natural Substances Act of 2023 (VISIONS Act). The bill would prohibit federal law enforcement from interfering with communities decriminalizing psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”).
In a press release sent to GreenState, Rep. Garcia pointed to the mounting research showing the potential benefits of mushrooms as his inspiration for the bill.
“Current federal law lags behind the growing body of evidence that suggests that the psychedelic treatment that psilocybin offers can provide relief for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders,” Rep. Garcia said.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is a co-sponsor of the bill and a longtime proponent of drug policy reform. His home state recently legalized psilocybin therapy.
“For too long, the federal government has perpetuated a broken system that has denied patients access to the therapeutic potential of psilocybin,” Rep. Blumenauer said in the release. “It is time for the federal government to get out of the way of states like Oregon who are making progress.”
The news comes as psychedelics proponents in California await the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom on a bill that would decriminalize many plant-based entheogens. A similar bill was recently introduced in Michigan, while psychedelic research measures are currently on the table in a handful of other states.
Over 60 percent of Americans support regulated psychedelic therapy. With so many people being impacted positively through these compounds, the VISIONS Act aims to help improve access.
“Here in the U.S., we have countless military and law enforcement veterans who have seen their lives improve thanks to these groundbreaking treatments,” Rep. Garcia added. “The potential benefits of psilocybin have been overlooked for years and my aim is to protect the areas and states that want to delve into the real progress this treatment can offer for people in their communities.”