Massachusetts Bill Would Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms  

Printed from:

Should Massachusetts decriminalize the possession of psychedelic drugs, including psychedelic mushrooms?

Two state legislators recently filed a bill (HD.1450/SD.949) aimed at decriminalizing certain psychedelic substances in the state. The bills, titled “An Act Relative To Plant Medicine,” were filed by state Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton) and state Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville). 

If passed, the bill would decriminalize the possession, ingestion, obtaining, growing, giving away, and transportation of up to 2 grams of psychedelics for adults ages 18 and older. The bill specifically mentions psilocybin, psilocin, dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine, and mescaline. Psilocybin and psilocin are two compounds found in psychedelic mushrooms. The 2 grams rule would exclude the weight of “any material such as water, plant, and fungi material of which the substance is a part or to which the substance is added, dissolved, held in solution, or suspended,” according to the bill.

However, while it would permit possession of psychedelics, the bill would not permit the sale of psychedelics, because the bill prohibits “financial gain,” which it defines as including the receipt of money or other valuable consideration in exchange for the item being shared.

Each of those drugs is a Class C drug in Massachusetts. The penalty for possession of these drugs is typically a fine of up to $1,000 or a prison sentence of up to one year for first-time offenders. For subsequent offenses, the penalty may include a fine of up to $2,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years.

James Davis, the co-founder of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, supports the decriminalization of psychedelics.

“Mushrooms are life-changing,” Davis said in a press release. “From depression to addiction to painful cluster headaches, they are a tool that people should use in a caring community. There’s no better way to promote intentional and mindful use than to decriminalize minor amounts for home growing and sharing without enabling commercial sale.”

The decriminalization movement in Massachusetts comes after several cities in the state voted to decriminalize psychedelic drugs. That includes Cambridge, Somerville, Northampton, and Easthampton, which have all voted to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

So far, only two states have decriminalized psychedelic drugs:  Oregon and Colorado. 

Supporters of drug decriminalization argue that the war on drugs has been a failure and that incarceration will not solve the country’s drug problem. They also argue that addiction is not a crime and that people should be able to get help with a drug problem without the threat of a criminal penalty.

Opponents of drug decriminalization say that it incentivizes further drug use and that criminal penalties act as a deterrent against drug use. 

Sabadosa and Jehlen could not be reached for comment on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday this week. 


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.