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Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Study Psychedelic Treatments for Veterans
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Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Study Psychedelic Treatments for Veterans

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
June 21, 2024
1 min

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a bill to explore the therapeutic use of psychedelics in treating mental health conditions among veterans. This legislative move would create a working group to study how substances like MDMA and psilocybin can be used to treat PTSD and depression.

In November 2023, Governor Maura Healy proposed the bill as part of the HERO Act (Honoring, Empowering, and Recognizing our Servicemembers and Veterans), a legislative effort aimed at expanding and improving services and benefits for veterans across the state. This move is part of a growing national trend where states are reconsidering the therapeutic use of psychedelics for mental health treatment, especially for veterans and other service members who suffer from conditions that are resistant to conventional therapies.

While this measure isn’t designed to allow legal access yet, it will call for the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services (EOVS) to assemble a working group made up of experts in mental health, substance use, and veteran affairs. This group will be responsible for evaluating the “health benefits of psychedelics as treatment for veterans suffering from physical or mental health disorders related to their service.” They will also be required to evaluate the legal and regulatory frameworks needed to support these treatments if they’re deemed beneficial. 

“Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, and this transformative legislation marks an important step toward ensuring that Massachusetts supports them in return,” said Healey. “From day one, our administration has been committed to revitalizing veterans’ services in Massachusetts and ensuring that every one of these heroes receives the benefits, resources and support that they deserve.”

Although both the Senate and House have approved the bill, it still needs to go through the reconciliation process to mediate any differences between the two chamber’s separate versions before being signed into law by the Governor. Once passed, the working group will be required to report its findings and recommendations by January 1, 2025.


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legislation
Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

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