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Oklahoma House passes legislation allowing for study of psychedelic mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands.
Peter Dejong
Psilocybin mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands.

Oklahoma lawmakers are again considering a bill that would allow medical researchers to look into psychedelics to treat mental illness.

House Bill 2107, like its predecessor last year, would let colleges and research facilities study the effects of psilocybin on Oklahoma residents who struggle with conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder and treatment-resistant depression. Psilocybin is the psychoactive compound in mushrooms.

The measure doesn’t require veteran status, but supporters tout the potential benefits to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidality.

The bill got a lot of pushback in its hearing Thursday. Critics said the measure isn’t financially responsible, and Oklahoma should let other states take the lead on this research.

"I want us to make sure we’re at the decision-making table, having this nationwide conversation — because, again, this is about research, this is about saving lives, and this is about addressing the mental health crisis that’s facing our country and our state right now," said Lawton Republican Rep. Daniel Pae, the bill's author.

The measure passed and is headed to the Senate, where it died last year.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Catherine Sweeney grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University. She has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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