PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 1, 2024) – Yesterday, the Arizona Senate passed a bill that would legalize the use of psilocybin in a clinical setting, despite ongoing federal government prohibition of this active ingredient in “magic mushrooms.”

Sen. Thomas Shope introduced Senate Bill 1570 (SB1570) on Feb. 15. The proposed law would allow patients to consume psilocybin under a doctor’s supervision at a state-licensed clinical facility.

The bill would also create the Arizona Psilocybin Advisory Board to study and report on the results of treatments using psilocybin in the state, approve training programs for licensees and healthcare professionals, make recommendations about the implementation of the law, determine health and safety warnings for patients, and other functions relating to the use of psilocybin in the state.

On Feb. 29, the Senate passed SB1570 by a 24-4 vote.

Psilocybin, often referred to as a “magic mushroom,” is a hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushrooms. Several studies have shown psilocybin to be effective in the treatment of depression, PTSD, chronic pain, and addiction. For instance, a Johns Hopkins study found that “psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.”

Efforts to legalize psilocybin in a clinical setting in Arizona follow a successful ballot measure that decriminalized a number of drugs, including heroin and cocaine in Oregon. In 2022, Colorado voters passed a ballot measure decriminalizing several naturally occurring psychedelic substances. At least 14 cities including Detroit, Michigan have decriminalized “magic mushrooms.”

Psychedelic decriminalization and legalization efforts at the state and local levels are moving forward despite the federal government’s prohibition of psilocybin and other psychedelic substances.


Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains the complete prohibition of psilocybin. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate such substances within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

In effect, the passage of SB1570 would allow the use of psilocybin in Arizona on a limited basis despite federal prohibition and remove a small layer of laws criminalizing its use.  As we’ve seen with marijuana and hemp, when states and localities stop enforcing laws banning a substance, the federal government finds it virtually impossible to maintain prohibition. For instance, FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By curtailing or ending state prohibition, states sweep part of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s annual budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution either. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state and local assistance, and the same will likely hold true with other drugs.


SB1570 will move to the House for further consideration. After it receives a committee assignment, it must get a hearing and pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

Mike Maharrey

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