New legislation worming its way through the Illinois state senate would legalize psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” for therapeutic use in the state of Illinois.

The Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens, or CURE Act, was introduced by State Senator Rachel Ventura on February 9. It would establish a state advisory board “for the purpose of advising and making recommendations to the Department regarding the provision of psilocybin and psilocybin services.”

Thirteen of the state senate’s 58 members other than Ventura have co-sponsored the bill so far.

The CURE Act would limit the supervised use of magic mushrooms to state facilities; the Act outlines licensing guidelines and prohibitions. It also takes a bold step toward decriminalization; among other details, the CURE Act would also provide for an annual “expungement of specified records” for most convictions of possession of magic mushrooms that resulted in a citation.

Thirteen of the state senate’s 58 members other than Ventura have co-sponsored the bill so far. At a press conference last week, Ventura stated her aspiration for “plant medicines to shed their stigma and be recognized for their safe and beneficial qualities.”

Also supporting the bill is the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, or LEAP, a non-profit advocacy group of current and former law enforcement, judges, prosecutors and criminal law professionals committed in part to ending the harm of the War on Drugs:

“Law Enforcement Action Partnership recognizes this bill as nothing short of life saving. Providing a proven means for people to work through their traumas and live happier, healthier, and more productive lives,” said Dave Franco, retired police officer and speaker for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership. β€œThe benefits for mental and behavioral health can also have a sizable impact on community and public safety.”

 

After Denver became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin in 2019, several other cities followed as did more encompassing state laws in Oregon and Colorado. Both the Oregon and Colorado laws passed as a result of state ballot initiatives rather than by direct legislation. A ballot initiative is also in the works for Massachusetts.

You can read the text of the proposed CURE Act here or follow the path of legislation here.

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