According to Politico, Senate President Nick Scutari (D-Union) is planning a New Jersey magic mushrooms or shrooms or psilocybin for medicine legalization hearing.
The hearing would be on S 2934. It’s called the “Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act.” It authorizes the production and use of psilocybin to promote health and wellness. The bill decriminalizes and expunges past offenses involving psilocybin production, possession, use, and also distribution.
New Jersey Magic Mushrooms Legalization Issues
The hearing could come before the legislature leaves for summer vacation. (Technically, it’s a part-time job.) However, if the state budget passage becomes controversial before the deadline of July 1st, it’s less likely.
“I haven’t decided but hopefully soon we’re gonna have a hearing on its efficacy and its medical uses and certainly some good stuff there that we want to ferret out,” Scutari said. “It’s an important thing that people are utilizing for addiction purposes and for mental health. Some people want to testify and see what kind of program we could put together.
“The bill itself needs work,” he admitted. “But the topic needs to be discussed.”
The New Jersey magic mushroom bill would set up a legal magic shrooms marketplace comparable to New Jersey adult use recreational cannabis legalization.
Unlike the New Jersey cannabis legalization bill, this bill would allow magic mushroom home growing. They must be kept away from those 21 and older. It also cannot leave the property.
Legislative Maneuvering for Shrooms Legalization
Nick Scutari has secured bipartisan co-sponsors with Holli Schepsi (R-Bergen) and Andrew Zwicker (D-Middlesex).
There is also the necessary companion bill for passage in the Assembly, A 4911. It has three primary sponsors, including Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson), Herb Conaway (D-Burlinton), and James Kennedy (D-Union). Clinton Calabrese (D-Bergen) is co-sponsoring it. The New Jersey magic mushroom legalization bill was introduced in the Assembly in January.
The bill has been referred to the Senate and Assembly Health Committees.
The UFCW Local 360 labor union endorsed the bill if the magic mushroom dispensary workers are unionized. They have been a driving force behind New Jersey adult use cannabis legalization.
Shrooms have been found to treat trauma and also severe depression more effectively.
Scutari included a provision lowering criminal charges for possession of magic mushrooms in the New Jersey adult use cannabis legalization implementation law. It was very controversial and seemed to come out of nowhere.
Several advocates for cannabis across the country are moving to shrooms. For example, Stockton University, which has been at the forefront of cannabis legalization, held a New Jersey magic mushroom forum last fall.
“I think we might see veterans step up for psilocybin and access,” Stockton University Professor Rob Mejia said. He noted they have also seen great success treating trauma.
Noted New Jersey cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Gaetano Lardieri has been following magic mushroom legalization progress for two years. He noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees many synthetic magic mushroom studies.
“It’s also easy to do clinical trials with these compounds,” he noted.
Magic Mushrooms Legalization Issues Out West
Shrooms legalization has been making progress out west. However, comparable to cannabis, large companies want to make the most out of it.
Oregon has established a very expensive system to legalize magic mushrooms and create an industry.
Epic Healing Eugene is the first legal magic mushrooms healing center licensed in Oregon. They want to charge $2,800 for a guided legal magic mushroom session that includes 2 ½ grams of shrooms. It would be $3,500 with 4 grams of shrooms. Their most affordable option is $300 for .1 to .4 grams of mushrooms.
While 4 grams of shrooms might make you trip so intensely, you question the nature of the universe and God. On the other hand, .1 grams a shroom microdose is good for feeling better on a quiet afternoon or at a concert.
You need a guide to make your trip more effective. People have been training to be legal magic shroom guides in Oregon. The process has been expensive. The intense nurturing guides likely have to do in an intense trip likely contributes to the overall cost of the experience.
Oregon passed a magic mushroom legalization referendum in 2020. However, they did not decriminalize the possession of underground shrooms.
Cost and Competition Issues in Shrooms Legalization
The absurdly high prices resemble the situation in the New Jersey medical cannabis market. Politically connected and greedy companies set up a de facto trust or cartel under former Governor Chris Christie (R) after the passage of the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) sponsored by Scutari. It was signed into law on the last day of former Governor Jon Corzine’s (D) administration.
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has sought to enter and dominate the space with his new company.
Progressive blue states are not the only places advocates want to push to legalize shrooms. In fact, there are movements underway in the conservative red states of Utah and Missouri to push for legal psilocybin.
However, like with cannabis, talk of legalization has caused an uptick in the legacy shrooms market, which is flourishing. Several shroom trip guides have been popping up in recent years across the United States as shrooms become more mainstream.