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Utah Governor Signs Bill to Study the Benefits of Psychedelic Therapy

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Mar 24, 2022   

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Utah Governor Signs Bill to Study the Benefits of Psychedelic Therapy

The governor of Utah has signed a bill that will create a task force to study the feasibility of psychedelic-assisted therapy and make recommendations on whether it should be permitted in the state.

Governor Spencer Cox signed the bill on Tuesday, March 22.

The bill was first introduced to the state legislature back in January before clearing both the House and Senate and progressing to the governor’s desk.

While the bill doesn’t explicitly mention the word psychedelic – the term “psychotherapy drug” is used instead – the piece of legislation has been widely interpreted as a measure to explore the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin and MDMA.

According to the bill’s wording, a “‘Psychotherapy drug’ means a controlled substance that: (a) is not currently available for legal use; and (b) may be able to treat, manage, or alleviate symptoms from mental illness.”

Now that the bill has been passed, the state government is mandated to create a Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force, which should consist of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a pharmacist, among other mental health professionals.

The force’s goal is to “provide evidence-based recommendations on any psychotherapy drug that the task force determines may enhance psychotherapy when treating a mental illness.”

A report detailing all the task force’s findings is expected to be handed in by October 31.

Utah is the latest in a growing line of states to legislate action on psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Back in November 2020, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure to fully legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapy sessions. The state government is currently deciding on the regulations for such a service, which is expected to be available by January 2023.

Connecticut also legislated a Utah-style psychedelic task force last year, which handed in its findings and recommendations this January.

 

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