In April of this yr, Florida’s first try at psychedelics reform failed, as a Home subcommittee rejected HB 549. This invoice, launched by Rep. Michael Grieco (D-Miami Seashore), would have legalized the usage of psilocybin for psychological therapy within the nation’s third most populous state.
Regardless of this setback, 2021 may but be a pivotal yr for psychedelics in Florida. In September, Grieco filed a brand new invoice, HB 193, with companion SB 348 filed within the Senate by Minority Chief Lauren Ebook (D-Plantation). These payments name would require the Division of Well being, along with the Board of Medication, to review the therapeutic efficacy of MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine in treating melancholy, anxiousness, PTSD, bipolar dysfunction, continual ache, and migraines.
Republicans maintain ample majorities in each chambers of the Florida legislature, that means passage of any laws would require important from inside their ranks. Given the destiny of the sooner psilocybin invoice, it’s truthful to ask what’s completely different this time round. The reply, in a nutshell, is that the brand new invoice is extra Texas, much less Oregon.
HB 549 was “modeled after” Oregon’s Measure 109, which established a authorized regime for psilocybin within the state. Nevertheless, anybody with even a passing information of Florida is aware of that taking a cue from Oregon is unlikely to be a profitable rallying cry within the Sunshine State. As mentioned above, Republicans management each homes within the Florida legislature, in addition to the governorship and the state’s two U.S. Senate seats. Against this, Oregon’s governor and two U.S. senators are Democrats, and their celebration controls each legislative chambers.
In accordance with Grieco, the present payments “plagiarized” laws handed final summer time in Texas, which mandates a research into psychedelic therapy for veterans grappling with PTSD. The acknowledged aim is that Florida’s Republican legislature “will observe the lead of the GOP-led legislature within the Lone Star state.”
Florida’s proposed research could be broader in scope than the Texan one, however Grieco “plans to give attention to veteran entry.” In a state with a strong army presence and at the least 1.5 million veterans, this concern is prone to resonate. This in flip may assist garner assist for the proposed regulation from inside Republicans within the legislature.
Acquiring Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature would possibly current a unique problem. Whereas the governor is being coy about any presidential ambitions, he’s clearly taking part in to a nationwide Republican viewers, which could demand extra conservatism than Florida’s citizens. On this context, DeSantis would possibly resolve that vetoing a “magic mushrooms” invoice is a savvy political transfer, regardless of what’s greatest for Floridians. This all stated, the Texas regulation would give DeSantis some cowl, if he wished it. With some deft messaging, Navy man DeSantis may even use assist for the invoice as a method of highlighting his army credentials.
Between the legislative course of and the precise research, there’s a lengthy street forward for Florida on the subject of psychedelics legalization. Nevertheless, the ripple results of a good vote in Florida, itself a ripple from the Texas regulation, may manifest themselves a lot earlier, within the type of new payments and research on psychedelics in conservative and centrist states.