POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah lawmaker looking to decriminalize medical mushrooms

Feb 13, 2023, 11:00 AM

psilocybin mushrooms pictured...

In this Aug. 3, 2007, file photo, psilocybin mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press)

(Peter Dejong/Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — To tackle the war on opioids, one Utah lawmaker is suggesting medical mushrooms.

Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake, sponsored a bill that looks to give adults with PTSD and depression an alternative to opioids. It would decriminalize mushroom possession for those 21 and older who have a valid prescription.

Escamilla pointed to research by Johns Hopkins University that showed medical mushrooms can relieve symptoms of depressed patients for up to a year.

“Personally, when people ask me why how many grandparents have raised children because their children are either in a, you know, in a correctional facility, or they’ve died because of opioids. I say let’s try everything to make sure we rob people away from them,” said Escamilla.

To critics of the bill, Escamilla noted that Utah already has a precedent for the program.

“We [Utah] are recognized nationally as one of the best medical cannabis programs and it’s heavily regulated. I will say this [bill is] equally is heavily regulated.”

The bill now awaits a committee to consider it. 

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Utah lawmaker looking to decriminalize medical mushrooms