In April of this year, Florida’s first attempt at psychedelics reform failed, as a House subcommittee rejected HB 549. This bill, introduced by Rep. Michael Grieco (D-Miami Beach), would have legalized the use of psilocybin for mental treatment in the nation’s third most populous state.
Despite this setback, 2021 could yet be a pivotal year for psychedelics in Florida. In September, Grieco filed a new bill, HB 193, with companion SB 348 filed in the Senate by Minority Leader Lauren Book (D-Plantation). These bills call would require the Department of Health, together with the Board of Medicine, to study the therapeutic efficacy of MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and migraines.
Republicans hold ample majorities in both chambers of the Florida legislature, meaning passage of any legislation will require significant from within their ranks. Given the fate of the earlier psilocybin bill, it is fair to ask what is different this time around. The answer, in a nutshell, is that the new bill is more Texas, less Oregon.