Here in Illinois, state government just began a new legislative session and legislators are letting their constituents know what their elected representatives plan on making a priority in Springfield this year.

For one Illinois legislator, State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, a priority will be discussing the potential legalization of what are commonly referred to as "magic mushrooms," and remove criminal penalties for psilocybin, the psychoactive substance found in certain "psychedelic" mushrooms.

Ford says it's not a move to give Illinoisans another item to add to their parties after marijuana was legalized back in 2020. It's to help those who, Ford says, deserve more tools to deal with mental health issues.

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The Compassionate Use And Research Of Entheogens Act (or "CURE Act") Was The First Bill At The Opening Legislative Session In Springfield This Week

If this bill eventually passes, the Illinois Department of Public Health would create the Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board, which would take up things like recommendations regarding regulations and provisions of psilocybin and psilocybin services, along with receiving applications for licensing of people and manufacturers to assess psilocybin mushrooms, products, centers, and psilocybin services.

The bill's passage would also remove criminal penalties for psilocybin, which has happened in some other states recently.

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Getty Images

Let's Take A Look At Other Places Where Psychedelic Mushrooms Have Already Been Given The Green Light

On Election Day last year, Colorado voters said yes to a ballot measure legalizing the use of psilocybin and psilocin, two psychedelic compounds found in certain mushrooms, which made them the second state to do so in two years, after Oregon did it in 2020. Denver became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin in 2019.

Now, even more states, cities, and counties are looking into it as well, according to

While more than 60 bills have been introduced around the country, the majority, including the Hawaii bill, are stalled in committee or have failed to get a vote. In Washington, legislators opted to study the substance after struggling to loosen restrictions. And in California, lawmakers transformed a bill to decriminalize use into one that would analyze policy.

We'll see where things go here in Illinois sometime this year.

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