A New Jersey legislator hopes to legalize psilocybin in the Garden State. Senate President Nicholas Scutari – who was a major supporter of Cannabis legalization in New Jersey – has introduced a measure that would not only legalize the psychedelic, but also establish a psilocybin dispensary system consisting of licensed providers.
Interestingly, Scutari’s bill would also allow for home cultivation of psilocybin. Should the measure become law, Garden Staters would be legally permitted to grow their own ‘shrooms while home Cannabis cultivation remains banned. New Jersey is the only state to outlaw home cultivation of both recreational and medicinal marijuana.
The New Jersey bill is the latest effort in the psychedelic-law reform movement that is gaining momentum across the country, from Oregon’s statewide legalization ballot initiative in 2020 to local ordinances cropping up throughout Massachusetts.
While some advocates approach reform from a standpoint of making psychedelics the lowest law enforcement priority, others like Scutari view psilocybin as a vital therapeutic substance.
According to the newly filed New Jersey bill, “It is the intent of the Legislature to facilitate the establishment of safe, legal and affordable psilocybin service centers to provide residents of New Jersey who are 21 years of age or older with opportunities for supported psilocybin experiences to alleviate distress, provide preventative behavioral health care, and foster wellness and personal growth.”
Additionally, the measure would legalize up to four grams of psilocybin to “possess, store, use, ingest, inhale, process, transport, deliver without consideration or distribute without consideration.”
Furthermore, “it will also not be unlawful for a person over 21 years of age to grow, cultivate, or process plants or fungi capable of producing psilocybin for personal use, or to possess the psilocybin produced if the plants and fungi are kept on the grounds of a private home or residence and are kept secure from access by persons under 21 years of age,” the bill states.
Senate President Scutari previously introduced a bill to reduce penalties for possession of up to an ounce of psilocybin in 2020, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law. This new measure would go much further – both in legal protections as well as therapeutic use.
While psychedelic-law reform is doubtlessly a worthy endeavor that could prove beneficial to many, should the bill pass, it would be difficult for Cannabis advocates to accept state-sanctioned home psilocybin cultivation before even medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow their own medicine.