Could New York and Vermont Legalize Psychedelic Drugs?

Recorded July 14, 2021

Several states in the U.S. like Oregon and Colorado have either legalized or decriminalized some psychedelic drugs. Is this something that could happen in New York or Vermont in the near future?

Attorney Ben Barry of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is on the radio with WIZN to help explain.

Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP has attorneys that are available to provide answers to your questions and to make sure your rights are protected. Contact us for more information, today!

Joe: 106.7 WIZN that’s Skid Row with “18 and Life”. You heard Edgar Winter and “Frankenstein” before that. Joe Vega taking you through your Wednesday rocking right home and I’m joined now by Ben Barry from Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Ben.

Ben: Hello, Joe.

Joe: So I’m calling you today about drugs, sir. Psychedelic drugs, to be specific.

Ben: Okay. I know nothing about them, but…

Joe: I know, I know it’s a scary start. So, obviously, marijuana’s been legalized in most states, not all, but in most states marijuana’s been legalized. By the way, I think Senator Schumer from New York, isn’t he going to introduce a bill that is going to make marijuana legal on a federal level?

Ben: Yes, I believe so. That came across my newsfeed. I didn’t read the article, but, yes that’s what I believe is going to happen.

Joe: But that’s not why I’m calling you. That’s beside the point. The question that I have for you is in regards to psychedelics like mushrooms. Several states out West, Oregon and Colorado, I know, have basically legalized psychedelics and I’m curious if you see that as something that’s going to happen more often with other states in the future.

Ben: No, I don’t see this as being a trend that is going to take hold in other states, not now anyways. I think the Western states are more progressive with respect to legalization, but I don’t anticipate that New York or Vermont in the next three, five, seven years are going to be in a position to legalize the use of the drugs like Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and those types of substances really anytime in the near future. I think a lot of the same concerns, at least for me personally and from a legal point of view in the area in which I practice, because I usually deal with people on the roadways who are getting into accidents.

And to me, to add in other substances into that world, like marijuana and certainly psychedelics, I think for me as an attorney doing what I do, it causes a problem and I’m very concerned for those things. A lot of your listeners and a lot of people at the station have kids. And I certainly don’t want to see people injured because there’s a population of individuals who would misuse or use inappropriately those substances and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. That is the world I live in, and so those are the concerns that I have.

And I think a lot of legislatures in debating this are going to focus on that and that alone. I also have concerns about any state’s ability to adequately handle some of the things that I think are typically associated with hallucinogenic use, which are deteriorations of one’s mental state. I think the argument has been made that these things could help with breakthrough therapy for things like PTSD and other associated persistent mental health problems. However, I do think that one of the considerations that should be paid to the analysis as to whether or not a state should legalize these things is whether or not the state has the ability and the institutions to deal with some of the psychopathy that would attend the increase in use of hallucinogenics.

Joe: Well, those are all really interesting points. Okay, thanks a lot, Ben.

Ben: Thanks, Joe, it’s been great. Thank you.

Joe: Remember, you can call Ben or any of the fine lawyers at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti at any time at 1-800-LAW1010 or go online to Alright, I’m getting on out of here. Mel Allen’s taking over. He’s got music from ACDC and Tom Petty next.

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