Maine Senate supports Sen. Bailey bill to create pathway for therapeutic use of psilocybin

Posted: April 05, 2024 | Senator Bailey

AUGUSTA ­­— On Wednesday, the Maine Senate gave initial support to a bill from Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco. As amended, LD 1914 “’Resolve, to Establish the Commission to Study Pathways for Creating a Psilocybin Services Program in Maine,” would help Maine chart a path forward to allow for the therapeutic use of psilocybin.

“Maine is facing a mental health and substance abuse crisis. While some more conventional therapies can help individual patients, it’s clear that we need to explore additional treatment options, such as psilocybin therapy. Promising research from America’s top universities shows that natural psychedelic medicines can be effective in helping people,” said Sen. Bailey. “In addition to this research, psychedelic therapy shows so much promise that the FDA recently called it a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for depression. I am excited for the Governor’s Office and stakeholders to collaborate and move Maine closer to establishing this program.”

As amended, the bill would establish the Commission to Study Pathways for Creating a Psilocybin Services Program in Maine. The commission will include two senators, two representatives, a licensed psychologist, a licensed physician, a military veteran, a scientific researcher, a naturopathic doctor, a public health academic, a psychedelics expert, and an expert in state-regulated access to psychedelic healing. The commission will report its findings back to the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee by Nov. 6, 2024. The amended version of the bill received strong bipartisan support from the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee.

Multiple studies have shown psilocybin to be effective in treating mental health concerns, including major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse and smoking cessation. Other studies have suggested it may also be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2020, Oregon voters approved a ballot initiative to establish healing centers for psilocybin therapy. Two years later, Colorado voters approved a similar measure. Since 2019, over 25 states have enacted or introduced legislation related to psychedelic medicines.

During the public hearing for the bill, Greg Marley, a social worker in Rockland, said, “Clinical research and practice continues to support the great benefits of a psychedelic experience to address resistant depression [and] past trauma and to improve cognitive and life function. It is time for Maine to embrace this promising practice to address trauma and to improve the lives of the thousands who can benefit from psilocybin use in controlled settings.”

LD 1914 now faces additional votes in the Senate and House.