Illinois lawmaker seeks legalization of psychedelic mushrooms

An Illinois lawmaker introduced new legislation that would pave the way for a regulated psychedelic therapy program.

Democrat La Shawn Ford presented the Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act, or ‘CURE Act,’ as the first bill during the opening session.

The legislation establishes the Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board within the Department of Health to allow for the advertising and making of recommendations regarding regulations and provisions of psilocybin and psilocybin services.

It will also allow the department to begin receiving applications for licensing of people and manufacturers to assess psilocybin mushrooms and products, operate centers and facilitate psilocybin services.

Also included in the bill are the grounds for establishing rules, taxes, fees, zoning, labeling and penalties.

Since 2019, cities like Ann Arbor, Michigan, Somerville, Massachusetts, and Cambridge, Massachusetts have decriminalized the possession, use and propagation of psychedelic mushrooms, the legislation reads.

Washington, D.C. also passed an initiative in 2020 to deprioritize the enforcement of laws that regulate psychedelic mushrooms with 76% voter approval.

More cities and states followed suit.

Now, Ford says people in Illinois deserve more tools to address mental health issues, including use of psychedelic plants and fungi.

The law, if approved, would allow for personal use and sharing of some controlled substances, including for group counseling, community-based healing and other services. What the law will not do, though, is change any restrictions on driving while impaired.

The legislation will also allow for the creation of a psychedelic therapy program that allows adults ages 18 and older to seek psychedelic therapy from a trained specialist at a licensed service center.

‘I’ve been seeing more and more legitimate scientific evidence, including information coming from the FDA, showing that psychedelic therapy is not only safe, but also very effective, particularly for the toughest patients for whom other treatments have not worked. At the same time, I am also hearing from patients and from their medical providers, that Illinoisans should have access to these exciting new treatment options,’ Ford said in a press release.

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