Even some red states are pushing for medical use of psychedelics: report

Even some red states are pushing for medical use of psychedelics: report
Mitt Romney in 2018 (Gage Skidmore)

Some blue states and swing states have been seriously rethinking the criminalization of psychedelic drugs, especially when it comes to using them in therapy. Historically, Republican-controlled states have been especially severe in their enforcement of U.S. drug laws. But according to the Associated Press, some residents of red states — including Utah — are encouraging their officials to reconsider laws governing the use of psychedelic mushrooms.

Associated Press reporter Sam Metz, in an article published on February 15, explains, "Amid growing acceptance of psychedelics, advocates in blue states like Colorado and Oregon began their pushes with ballot measures proposing to decriminalize psychedelics like magic mushrooms. Advocates in red states like Utah and Missouri are starting in a different way, proposing studying them or first making them legal for medical use — a strategy that mirrors how many states, including Utah, have handled marijuana legalization."

Utah is easily the most conservative state in the southwestern United States. But in 2022, Metz notes, Utah’s "Republican-supermajority statehouse commissioned a study on the benefits and liabilities associated with psychedelic mushrooms."

READ MORE:Connecticut Republicans demand 'guardrails' on medical marijuana: report

"Utah, a conservative state where culture and politics are dominated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has become a global hotspot for psychedelics, attracting spirituality-seeking individuals leaving traditional religion as well as outdoor hobbyists looking to use hallucinogens recreationally in places like the red rock deserts of Moab," Metz observes.

Psychedelics, according to the AP reporter, have "become less counterculture and more mainstream" — even in a state as conservative as Utah. Proponents of psychedelics in the medical community, Metz says, believe they should be used to treat "anxiety or depression."

"The push would follow successful efforts in Oregon, but make Utah among the first states to create a legal framework for medical magic mushrooms," Metz reports.

READ MORE: Watch: Minnesota Republican fears cannabis legalization would put 'drug dogs' out of work

Read the Associated Press’ full report at this link.

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