Lauren Book, Michael Grieco Want to Expand Access to Psilocybin

Last week, state Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, D-Plantation, and state Rep. Michael Grieco, D-Miami, filed a proposal to “provide legal access to psilocybin in Florida.”

Grieco’s office offered some of the rationales at why he and Book brought out the proposal. First elected to the Florida House in 2018, Greico leads Democrats on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee.

“Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring psychedelic compound found in more than 200 species of fungus/mushrooms. Studies have shown that psilocybin is an effective alternative to traditional medication and is a treatment for depression, anxiety and other psychiatric conditions. There is also notable data in its use in the treatment of addiction issues. In 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression. In 2019, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for psilocybin therapy treating major depressive disorder. Currently there is no statutory framework that provides access to psilocybin for patients in Florida. This bill is very similar to one passed in Texas earlier this year,” Grieco’s office noted.

“This bill provides a natural pathway to wellness for patients with debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-resistant depression,” said Book. “Psilocybin treatment is a safe alternative for those who have exhausted all other avenues for mental health and wellbeing, and I am proud to sponsor legislation to ensure Floridians have medical access to this life-saving natural treatment.”

“Florida does not have to be the last state to catch up with science every time. Between medical marijuana and climate change, our state seems to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The science regarding psilocybin is real, cannot be ignored, and soon will be a universally-accepted form of treatment in the U.S. Veterans and veterans organizations should be watching closely on behalf of folks suffering from addiction, PTSD and depression. After authoring a very ambitious 59-page bill last year, one that started a broader conversation, I am ready to work with both my Republican and Democratic colleagues to create a framework designed to help those patients who need it,” said Grieco.

Kevin Derby
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