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Massachusetts Campaigners File Paperwork to Put Psychedelics on Ballot

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The Massachusetts for Mental Health Options (MMHO) committee recently kicked off efforts to add a psychedelics legalization measure on next year’s ballot. The recently formed committee has filed paperwork to put a measure that would legalize therapeutic psychedelic use in front of voters in November 2024.

With legislators, reform activists and mental-health professionals pushing for the legalization of therapeutic psychedelics, Massachusetts isn’t the first state to consider legalizing hallucinogenics, and it likely won’t be the last. Several states are considering legalizing psychedelics amid a national mental-health crisis that has left millions of Americans grappling with conditions such as depression with little relief from conventional treatment methods.

Advancements in psychedelic research have revealed that despite being classified as dangerous drugs with no medical applications, psychedelics have the potential to revolutionize the psychiatric industry. Hallucinogenics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ayahuasca have exhibited significant potential against various mental-health conditions, providing long-term relief at lower doses and with significantly fewer side effects.

The MMHO submitted psychedelic legalization documents to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), officially beginning its efforts to place psychedelics on the 2024 ballot. According to a statement from the organization, the group’s main objective is to increase the number of treatment options for people with mental-health disorders in Massachusetts by granting them access to natural psychedelics.

The filing notes that the psychedelic legalization question posed to voters in the upcoming ballot will focus on providing access to psychedelic-assisted therapy and eliminating criminal penalties for people charged with possession of natural psychedelics. Natural or classic psychedelics refers to psychedelic compounds that occur naturally in nature such as psilocybin, mescaline and DMT.

Research has found that these psychedelics can treat mental health issues such as anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Legalizing psychedelics would allow tens of millions of Americans to access more effective treatments that require significantly less dosage to be effective, offer long-term relief from symptoms and have minimal, if any, side effects.

However, the move to add psychedelic legalization onto the 2024 ballot has met some resistance. Those opposed aren’t comfortable with an open question asking voters the degree to which the committee behind the initiative should engage with local advocacy groups that have helped to pass psychedelic decriminalization measures in six cities in Massachusetts. Florida State University College of Law professor and cofounder of Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center suggests that increased involvement with such groups would likely tie the committee to the New Approach PAC.

The work being done by psychedelics-focused businesses such as Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ) has likely played a role in the growing interest in psychedelic treatments since the studies that these companies conduct help to dispel the myths about these substances while also bringing to light their therapeutic potential.

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