Sen. Salomon: Psychedelic mushrooms can alleviate depression, PTSD

Monday, February 7, 2022

Sen. Jesse Salomon D-Shoreline
It would be legal in Washington state to use psychoactive mushrooms to treat depression, PTSD and other conditions, under legislation heard Wednesday by the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee.

“The use of mushrooms as part of therapies to treat problematic mental health issues should be divorced from the lingering cultural drug stereotypes of the sixties,” said Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline). 
“It’s long past time we stop grouping psilocybin with Schedule 1 substances like heroin and meth and recognize its considerable medical value.”

Senate Bill 5660 mirrors an Oregon voter initiative that passed in 2020 but incorporates modifications to address implementation problems that have arisen in Oregon.

“We’re talking about a drug that has been proven to effectively help people in supervised settings,” Salomon said. “Psilocybin is an incredibly useful tool that should be available to medical professionals or certified trip guides, and their patients.”

The legislation would enable people 21 and older to be treated at licensed centers under the supervision of licensed facilitators, using products created and tested by entities licensed by the state Department of Health.

Public testimony from dozens of people who had tried the therapy was overwhelmingly in favor of the bill and cited similar experiences. 

One combat veteran stated that three months of the psilocybin therapy trumped 12 years of traditional therapy but complained that his veteran’s organization needs to come up with $4,000 per treatment to fly wounded veterans out of the country for this treatment. 

Another testifier said the experience surpassed 15 ineffective years of traditional therapy, while another said it eliminated longtime physical tremors that had resisted other therapies.

“We have an opportunity to help many, many people who are struggling to cope with troubling and longstanding medical conditions, including depression, PTSD and addiction,” Salomon said. 
“Studies on depression, anxiety, PTSD and addiction treatment consistently show this is a treatment that can bring immediate and lasting improvement to people who have been failed by every other therapy, from talk therapy to the use of anti-depressants, and more.”

Sen. Jesse Salomon, D-Shoreline, represents the 32nd Legislative District, which includes Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodway, and unincorporated Snohomish County.


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