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As Vermont moves towards legalization, Vermonters shared their experiences with psychedelics, which they say changed their lives for the better. Melinda Moulton, a community leader and developer, credits psilocybin mushrooms with helping her heal emotionally and physically, even resulting in her becoming pregnant after doctors thought it was impossible. Rory Van Tuinen lived with opioid dependency for a decade until he tried a form of ayahuasca, a plant-based psychedelic, which he says motivated him to stop using heroin overnight. He and his brother started the nonprofit Cultivating Connections to grow relationships among people dealing with mental illness and addiction.

The state is working hard to pass psychedelics legalization this year. From the report:

Companion bills that lay the groundwork for study and the decriminalization of psilocybin are awaiting action in both chambers of the Vermont Statehouse.

State Senator Martine Gulick, D-Chittenden County, and Rep. Chip Troiano, D- Caledonia-2, submitted the legislation. The goal is to make findings regarding the therapeutic benefits, decriminalize, and establish a working group to eventually permit health care providers to administer psychedelics in a therapeutic setting.

Senate Bill 114 and House Bill 371 are not likely to pass this session, but Senator Gulick does plan to present her measure in front of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee in the next few weeks.

Dr. Robert Gramling, an epidemiologist at the University of Vermont, is excited about the potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy, even exploring its use in end-of-life care. The evidence is mounting for the effectiveness of these treatments, which have been difficult to treat effectively in the past. With growing evidence of the potential benefits of psilocybin and other psychedelics, it is important to continue researching and exploring their potential as medicine.

By Molly Cowell

Molly is a freelance writer who lives in Hamburg, Germany.

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