CT lawmakers and psilocybin activists to host mushroom decriminalization forum Wed
Connecticut for Accessible Psychedelic Medicine will host a forum with experts and lawmakers on January 10, online and in person at the state capital in Hartford
Updated Feb 28, 2024: Kevin Matthews reports leaving the Healing Advocacy Fund at the end of October, 2023. However, he resumed working for the Fund on a limited contract basis in mid January.
From 10am - noon Eastern, invited speakers will present their views on psychedelic policy reform, followed by a public comment period from noon to 2pm.
The morning session will include the following invited speakers:
Ismail Ali, JD, Policy Director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic studies (MAPS)
Peter Grinspoon, MD, Harvard Medical Doctor
Erin Doolittle, LMFT Marriage and family therapist
Jared Moffat, New Approach PAC
Victor Constanza, Samuel Evans, LMSW, and Melissa Keilty, LMSW, Connecticut for Accessible Psychedelic Medicine (CAPM)
Last year, the Connecticut House passed a bill from Representative Steve Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport) to partially decriminalize small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms. The bill would have eliminated the criminal penalty for possessing under half an ounce of mushrooms, replacing it with a $150 fine.
Some activist groups, such as New England Veterans for Plant Medicine and Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, raised concerns that the fine could incentivize law enforcement to increase policing. They claimed it could become a source of revenue like parking and speeding tickets. They’d prefer elimination of criminal and civil penalties, which Colorado implemented last November when voters approved Proposition 122, the Natural Medicine Health Act.
Last June, Bay Staters and over twenty individuals and organizations signed a letter urging Connecticut lawmakers to include cultivation and sharing in their decriminalization bills, which Colorado achieved last year and two Massachusetts bills currently propose. Activists adopted the slogan “no grow, no go” to reflect their position.
Though the Connecticut House approved Stafstrom’s psilocybin decriminalization bill last year in a 86-64 vote, it expired before reaching the Senate for a final vote. Last month, Stafstrom said he would reintroduce the bill in 2024.
Watch tomorrow’s public forum for more perspectives on Connecticut psychedelic policy.
*The views expressed on Psychedelic Week do not represent the views of Harvard University, POPLAR at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, Florida State University, or the Florida State University College of Law. Psychedelic Week is an independent project unaffiliated with these and other programs and institutions.
Mason Marks, MD, JD is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is also the Florida Bar Health Law Section Professor at Florida State University, senior fellow and project lead of the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR) at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, and an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Marks teaches drug law, psychedelic law, constitutional law, and administrative law. Before moving to Florida, he served on the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board where he chaired its Licensing Subcommittee. Marks has drafted drug policies for state and local lawmakers. His forthcoming book on psychedelic law and politics will be published by Yale University Press. He tweets at @MasonMarksMD and @PsychedelicWeek.