In this week’s Psychedelic News Roundup, we highlight a new study showcasing the growing support for psychedelic medicine among Canadians. Other news includes California’s unanimous passage of a new psychedelic bill and AI-powered psychedelic drug discoveries.

Canadian Support for Psychedelic Medicine Skyrockets

Canadian supporter

An article from High Times explores a recent study conducted by Canadian researchers and published in Palliative Medicine, which detailed changes in the social acceptability of using psilocybin to treat existential dread and anxiety among end-of-life patients. The study, led by Michel Dorval of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, surveyed 2,800 Canadians, revealing high support (79.3%) for psilocybin’s use in palliative care. The research highlighted the potential benefits of psilocybin, combined with psychotherapy, in producing lasting anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant effects for patients with advanced cancer. Despite psilocybin’s illegal status in Canada, the government’s Special Access Program, as of January 2022, allows limited access to treatment when other methods have failed.

The study also found strong support for healthcare professionals to prescribe psilocybin without government approval (44.2%), for public health coverage of psilocybin-assisted therapy (84.4%), and for the legalization of medical psilocybin (63.3%). These findings suggest a growing openness towards psychedelic treatment among Canadians, potentially influenced by personal experiences with end-of-life care. The researchers emphasized the importance of improving access to psilocybin-assisted therapy as part of comprehensive palliative care, aligning with recommendations from the Canadian Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying.

Internationally, acceptance of psilocybin therapy is also rising, with Oregon leading the U.S. in legalizing psilocybin use for treatment purposes. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is funding studies to explore psilocybin and MDMA’s effects on veterans with PTSD and depression. Further research on zebrafish has demonstrated psilocybin’s stimulatory and anxiolytic effects, supporting its non-addictive nature. Additionally, genomic studies suggest the ancient origins of psilocybin-producing fungi, dating back over 65 million years, hinting at its long-standing presence in nature and potential therapeutic applications.


AI Model Discovers Thousands of New Psychedelic Molecules

AI Model Discovers Psychedelic Molecules

Originally published in Scientific American, researchers have utilized AlphaFold, an AI tool DeepMind developed to discover hundreds of thousands of potential new psychedelic molecules for antidepressant development. AlphaFold has revolutionized biology with its extensive database, offering structure predictions for nearly every known protein, which are crucial for pharmaceutical development. Despite initial skepticism regarding its applicability in discovering new medicines, recent findings affirm its potential.

The skepticism surrounding AlphaFold’s use in drug discovery stems from comparisons with experimental methods like X-ray crystallography, which have traditionally been considered more reliable for identifying potential drugs. However, a collaborative study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has demonstrated that AlphaFold’s predictions can yield different yet equally promising drug candidates as experimental structures, challenging previous doubts about its effectiveness.

This revelation could significantly impact drug discovery, especially for challenging targets like certain protein receptors, which play a critical role in brain health. With AlphaFold, researchers have a powerful tool that can expedite the discovery process by providing quick access to protein structures that would otherwise take years to determine experimentally. Although not universally applicable to all drug targets, AlphaFold’s predictions can potentially advance projects by years, highlighting its growing importance in the search for new therapeutics. This development also aligns with efforts by companies like DeepMind’s Isomorphic Labs, which aim to leverage AI tools, including AlphaFold, to discover drugs more efficiently.


Oregon Democrats Propose Amendment to Decriminalization Law Amid Drug Crisis

Psychedelics in Alaska

Alaska Republic Media details State Sen. Forrest Dunbar’s new bill to create a psychedelic medicine task force, aiming to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin for treating mental health conditions. This initiative comes in anticipation of the federal legalization of certain psychedelic substances for medical use. The task force is expected to examine regulatory frameworks, ensuring Alaska is prepared to incorporate these treatments responsibly and effectively.

The proposed task force will investigate various aspects of psychedelic therapy, including access barriers, insurance coverage, and licensing requirements. With psychedelics showing promise in treating conditions such as PTSD, depression, and addiction, the task force’s work is crucial for addressing Alaska’s mental health crisis. The inclusion of diverse representatives, including those from Alaska Native communities, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, ensures that the task force’s recommendations will be inclusive and equitable.

The establishment of this task force signifies Alaska’s proactive stance on mental health treatment and opens the door for innovative therapeutic options. By laying the groundwork for the therapeutic use of psychedelics, Alaska aims to offer new hope and potentially life-changing treatments to its residents facing mental health challenges.


California Assembly Unanimously Passes New Psychedelic Bill

California Assembly Passes New Psychedelic Bill

Coming to us from Marijuana Moment, the California Assembly has taken a significant step towards exploring therapeutic access to psychedelics by unanimously approving a bill to create a state workgroup for this purpose. Introduced by Assemblymember Marie Waldron, the bill aims to investigate a regulatory framework for the therapeutic use of substances like psilocybin and ibogaine, reflecting a proactive approach to addressing the state’s escalating mental health crisis. This development follows the Assembly’s 58-0 vote, highlighting bipartisan support for innovative mental health treatment options.

The proposed workgroup, under the California Health and Human Services Agency, is tasked with examining the potential roles of psychedelics in mental health care. Waldron underscores the urgency of finding effective solutions for conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance use disorders, noting the promising early data on psychedelic-assisted therapy. The bill’s progression to the Senate indicates a growing legislative acknowledgment of the need for new therapeutic avenues.

Looking ahead, this initiative could pave the way for the lawful administration of psychedelics in clinical settings, contingent upon the enactment of a recommended regulatory framework. The bill’s focus on gathering data and expert recommendations reflects a cautious yet forward-thinking approach to integrating psychedelics into mainstream mental health care. As California confronts its mental health challenges, this legislative move signifies an important step towards embracing alternative therapies that could offer profound benefits for individuals grappling with severe mental health conditions.

Massachusetts Psychedelic Initiative Gains Momentum

Massachusetts Psychedelic Initiative

The Boston Globe details a new Massachusetts campaign to legalize plant-based psychedelics that is gaining traction, with significant contributions from California-based soap company Doctor Bronner’s Magic Soaps and Boston’s tech sector leaders. The Massachusetts for Mental Health Options committee reported raising $3.9 million in 2023 to support the initiative, which aims to place the question of legalizing psychedelics for mental health treatment on the November 2024 ballot. The largest donation came from Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a company known for supporting psychedelic advocacy, contributing $1 million.

Key figures in the Boston tech scene have also backed the cause, including Flipside Crypto’s David Balter and PillPack co-founder Elliot Cohen, who see psychedelics as a potential breakthrough in mental health treatment. Their support reflects a growing recognition of psychedelics’ therapeutic potential, particularly for patients inadequately served by conventional treatments. The campaign emphasizes the medical, rather than recreational, use of psychedelics, aiming to provide new treatment options for mental health conditions.

If successful, Massachusetts would follow Oregon and Colorado in legalizing psychedelics, marking a significant shift in the public’s perception and acceptance of these substances for therapeutic use. Proponents like Cohen and Balter highlight the transformative impact psychedelics can have on mental health, advocating for their accessibility as medicine rather than their stigma as illicit drugs.


This week’s Psychedelic News Roundup brings to light a Canadian study that reveals a significant increase in support for psychedelic medicine, reflecting a societal shift towards recognizing its therapeutic potential. Developments in California and AI-driven psychedelic discoveries further illustrate the growing interest in alternative mental health treatments. As the landscape of psychedelic research and legislation evolves, it becomes increasingly clear that these substances could play a pivotal role in addressing the mental health crisis, prompting a reevaluation of their legal status and therapeutic applications. The momentum behind these initiatives, from grassroots campaigns to legislative actions, underscores a collective move towards embracing psychedelics’ promise for profound healing and transformation in mental healthcare.

This material is not intended as a replacement or substitute for any legal or medical advice. Always consult a medical professional about your health needs. Psychedelics are widely illegal in the United States, and readers should always be informed about local, state, and federal regulations regarding psychedelics or other drugs.

  1. 79% of Canadians Support Psilocybin To Treat Existential Dread for End of Life Patients. (n.d.). High Times. Retrieved February 1, 2024, from 
  2. magazine, E. C., Nature. (n.d.). AI Program Finds Thousands of Possible Psychedelics. Will They Lead to New Drugs? Scientific American. 
  3. Anchorage, R. C., Alaska Public Media-. (2024, January 27). Psychedelic medicine task force would lay groundwork for therapeutic use in Alaska. Alaska Public Media. 
  4. Anchorage, R. C., Alaska Public Media-. (2024, January 27). Psychedelic medicine task force would lay groundwork for therapeutic use in Alaska. Alaska Public Media. 
  5. Staff, J. C. G., January 29, U., 2024, & Comments, 3:55 p m S. on F. S. on T. (n.d.). Psychedelics ballot question supporters include some big names from Boston’s tech scene – The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 1, 2024, from