Psychedelics to be on the Massachusetts ballot this year

A campaign to decriminalize the possession and usage of plant-based psychedelics, like magic mushrooms (psilocybin) might make it onto the ballot in November.

By Tara Nguyen

Since the legalization of Marijuana, dispensaries have been popping up all over Massachusetts, leading to a multi-billion dollar industry for the state. Now this November, voters may see on their ballots a question to legalize plant-based psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, formally known as psilocybin. 

Psychedelic use would differ from recreational marijuana and take on a more public health approach, one of the two versions submitted of the initiative states; “It intends to remove the personal use of natural psychedelic substances from the illicit market and to provide supervised, safe access in a therapeutic setting through a regulated and taxed system.” 

The Initiative would decriminalize the possession of psilocybin, and create facilities that would offer therapeutic services including supervised consumption. 

There has been growing interest in psilocybin from the general public, due to its results in treating health issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and other health issues. 

Massachusetts for Mental Health Options is a non-profit group backing the petition with the support of veterans, who emphasize this potential benefit for Massachusetts in aiding the state’s mental health issues. 

Many local communities including Cambridge, Somerville, Salem, and Northampton have already made steps toward decriminalizing the possession of plant-based psychedelics by deprioritizing arrests.

Oregon and Colorado have also legalized psychedelics by ballot measures. They are prohibiting retail sale of the drugs, but allowing adults 21 and over to buy and use the drug under licensed supervisio.