This Week in Psychedelics

Could psychedelics improve sexual health? Plus California legislators hope to win Governor Newsom's support with new legalization bill.

February 12, 2024

This Week...

After an attempt to decriminalize a short list of psychedelics failed last year, California State Senator Scott Wiener reintroduced legislation to make California the third state to legalize psychedelic-assisted therapy for adults.

Governor Gavin Newsom in October vetoed a similar bill, urging state lawmakers to first take steps toward creating regulated treatment guidelines before attempting to decriminalize possession of these drugs. So in an attempt to gain the support of the governor, Wiener’s new bill comes with a more clinical approach to expanded access to psychedelic uses. Check it out:

An eighth city in Massachusetts adopted a local policy to deprioritize arrests around psychedelic plants and fungi, also urging county prosecutors to stop pursuing cases of possession, cultivation, or distribution of the substances.

The City Council of Medford passed a resolution declaring that investigation and arrest of adults for “planting, cultivating, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, and/or possessing entheogenic plants and fungi…shall officially be the lowest law enforcement priority for Medford.” Here’s more:

A new paper entitled, “Psychedelics and sexual functioning: a mixed-methods study,” was published in Scientific Reports.

Based on the study, researchers concluded that there is preliminary evidence suggesting that the controlled therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs might foster an improvement in several facets of sexual functioning and satisfaction, including experienced pleasure, sexual satisfaction, communication of sexual desires and body image. Moreover, the present study specifically highlights that psilocybin therapy for Major Depressive Disorder might be linked with improvements in sexual functioning. Check it out:

Did You Know?

Did you know that the link between dementia and neuroplasticity has inspired researchers to test psychedelics as a potential treatment for cognitive impairment?

Because psychedelics are known to increase synaptic activity, Dr. Ellen Bradley, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, decided to study psilocybin as a Parkinson’s treatment in people with early stages of the disease who can still consent.

With so few treatment options for people suffering from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Bradley is seeking to find out if psilocybin could not only increase neuroplasticity, but also slow nerve cell degeneration.

While research like this is still in its earliest stages, given the lack of approved treatment options on the market today - with none of them really doing much more than delaying the inevitable - theories on how psychedelics could potentially treat neurodegenerative diseases are certainly worth serious investigation and consideration.

Here’s more: