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Most of New Jersey Supports Medical Magic Mushrooms Legalization

A majority of New Jersey approves legalizing magic mushrooms or psilocybin to treat issues, according to a poll released by Stockton University.

Psilocybin is the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms or shrooms that become the formal name for it, like cannabis and weed.

More than half of New Jerseyans at 55% support legalizing medical mushroom treatment supervised by a doctor. Only 20 percent are opposed, and 24% are unsure.

People who were more aware of this type of treatment, used psychedelics in the past, or know someone who has felt the need to seek mental health treatment were more likely to support legalizing shroom therapy.

At 57%, most New Jersey residents were at least somewhat aware of the

medicinal use of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders. Levels of support for legalization varied by demographics like age and political party. People aged 18-49 and Democrats support it more.

Forty-seven of New Jersey residents are neutral or hold no opinion of psychedelic drugs. About 19 percent view them positively. Only 32% are against it.

Medical Magic Mushrooms Legalization Possible

The research was spurred by a bill introduced in the New Jersey State Senate, S 2283, the Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act.

It “authorizes production and use of psilocybin to promote health and wellness; decriminalizes, and expunges past offenses involving psilocybin production, possession, use, and distribution.”

It is sponsored by NJ Senate President Nick Scutari (D-22) and Joe Vitale (D-19). The co-sponsors are Holly Schepisi (R-39), Andrew Zwicker (D-16), Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-5) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-13).

The new Assembly version A 3852 is sponsored by Herb Conaway (D-7), Anthony Verrelli (D-15), and Clinton Calabrese (D-36).

There is a hearing on it later this week.

Scutari introduced a medical magic mushrooms legalization bill in the State Senate in 2022, while an Assembly shrooms legalization bill was introduced by then-Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-32), Conaway, and James J. Kennedy (D-22).

But it did not pass the legislature to become law. So, he reintroduced the new one in the new session of the legislature that convened in January 2024 and lasts until January 2026.

Shroom Clinical Trial Study Results

In addition to asking the public their opinion on medical shrooms legalization, the team examined clinical studies to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of using psilocybin to treat mental health disorders.

Their report said clinical trials have shown that shroom consumption while supervised by a professional, and shroom therapy has shown significant anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects that have been replicated across multiple randomized clinical trials.

Clinical trials have shown that only 1-2 doses of psilocybin produce anti-depressant effects that last months with no negative side effects.

They define a low dose as 1-3 mg of shrooms and a high dose as 22-30 mg.

According to Stockton, professionally supervised use of psilocybin in a well-controlled environment seems to pose minimal risks for harm.

It’s very important to control your state of being and physical surroundings, known as set and setting, while tripping.

Clinical researchers have established safety guidelines to govern the use of

psilocybin-assisted therapy. They include criteria that should be used to determine who is a good candidate for this type of treatment, supervisor standards, and proper training.

Medical Magic Mushroom Research at Stockton University

The research was conducted by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. Professor Justin Ostrofsky led the team of student researchers Shayla Nagle, Morgan Seidman, and Katherine Wilkinson.

“The Hughes Center aims to be at the forefront of new, and perhaps lesser-known,

policy discussions,” said Hughes Center Interim Director Alyssa Maurice. “We hope this report adds to the public discourse around this topic and helps New Jersey residents feel more informed.”

The team analyzed the results of an original Hughes Center poll of more than 600 New Jersey residents to gauge public support for legalizing such treatment.

The poll of New Jersey adult residents was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy from Feb. 20-March 3, 2024. Stockton University students texted cell phones with invitations to take the survey online. Opinion Services supplemented the dialing portion of the fieldwork, which consisted of cell and landline telephone calls.

Overall, 96% of interviews were conducted on cell phones and 4% on landline phones.

In terms of mode, 82% were reached via dialing, and 18% were reached via text-to-web. A total of 606 New Jersey adult residents were interviewed. Both cell and landline samples consisted of random digit dialing (RDD) samples from MSG. Data was weighted based on US Census Bureau ACS 2022 data for New Jersey.

The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.0 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Many cannabis enthusiasts have seen shrooms as a similarly effective plant medicine treatment for issues.

Stockton is a state college in South Jersey that has been pioneering cannabis studies by creating a minor in the subject. Under Professor Rob Mejia, they are creating a class of people educated in the details of the cannabis industry.

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