Arizona legalized cannabis for medical use in 2010 and for recreational use in 2020. It is legal for Arizona medical marijuana patients and anyone 21 or older to buy cannabis products from Arizona dispensaries.
Arizona lawmakers have approved House Bill 2486 which will promote research into the medical potential of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) for a variety of conditions, which could inform future reforms to more broadly allow access to psychedelic-assisted therapy.
The bill is focused on psilocybin research, providing $30 million in grants over the course of 3 years for scientists to study the impact of the psychedelic on 13 different conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, long COVID symptoms and substance misuse disorder.
It wouldn’t legalize psilocybin like lawmakers in several other states are aiming to accomplish, but the research that the bill would support is meant to steer the conversation about broader reforms down the line.
A “Psilocybin Research Advisory Council” would be established under the Department of Health Services (DHS), tasked with establishing eligibility criteria for grant recipients, overseeing applications and making “recommendations to the governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president of the Senate and the department on psychedelic-assisted therapy based on current federal and state research policy.”
“It’s curbed their suicidality, it’s put their PTSD into remission, it’s even mitigated their pain syndromes,” Dr. Sue Sisely said about psilocybin. “It’s shown evidence of promoting neurogenesis (the growth and development of nerve tissue). There’s all kinds of great things that are being uncovered, but they’re not in controlled trials — they’re anecdotes from veterans and other trauma sufferers.”