Research into magic mushrooms pondered by Arizona legislators

In conservative, purple-ish Arizona, Kevin Payne, a Republican House member from Peoria, a suburb northeast of Phoenix, proposed in House Bill 2486 that the 48th State be the first to approve natural psilocybin for medical research.

If passed by the Legislature and signed by recently elected Democratic Governor, Katie Hobbs, the bill would allocate 30 million dollars in competitive grants to support whole magic mushroom research for health purposes. Already decriminalized in Colorado, in Oregon people are organizing to ensure therapeutic care with psilocybin is safe and regulated, yet the FDA has not yet approve research with whole mushrooms. This bill could be the spore that opens the doors for enhanced research.

As Tory Gantz and the Arizona State Press reported, House Bill 2486 "would create a five-person psilocybin research advisory council within the Arizona Health Services Department to outline clinical trial criteria and oversee the grant application process. The council would recommend policy to the governor and legislative leadership about psychedelic-assisted therapy annually."

In February 2023, the fifteen-member House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee unanimously approved the bill. In addition to treating addiction, depression, anxiety and PTSD, psilocybin may prove beneficial to patients suffering from Long-Covid. Several recent research studies reveal worrisome and hopeful data concerning Long-Covid diagnosis and solutions.

Dr. Sue Sisley is one of the researchers supportive of the bill. As reported by Jamie Ducharme in Time, "Dr. Sue Sisley, who researches psilocybin at Scottsdale Research Institute in Phoenix and also works in a community Long COVID clinic, became interested in using psychedelics as Long COVID remedies after patients told her they were trying them on their own and seeing improvements in their energy, cognitive function, and memory. "I was initially skeptical," Sisley says. But "none of the medications I was [prescribing] for them were helping substantially," so she thought it was worth exploring something that apparently was.'

Clarifying that the FDA has only approved synthetic psilocybin research, Forbesreported, "The public may not realize that early FDA-approved studies showing psilocybin looks promising as a medicine are only looking at synthetic psilocybin molecule," Sisely told Marijuana Moment on February 16. "That's not a real world evaluation. We want to understand the risks/benefits of whole complex mushrooms—the stuff actually being consumed daily by patients around the globe," she added. "Arizona is poised to be the first state to sponsor controlled trials of whole natural mushrooms!"

Sisley practices Internal Medicine & Psychiatry in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2017, she was named "25 People Shaping the Future in Tech, Science, Medicine, Activism and More" by Rolling Stone, in the same issue as the "Techno King of Tesla," Kamala Harris, and Chido Govera.

You can check out the local FOX News Phoenix story on HB2486 here.