Nevada lawmakers have introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin and promote research into the psychedelic, as well as encourage studies of MDMA.
The legislation from Sen. Rochelle Nguyen (D) is primarily meant to streamline the process of studying psilocybin and MDMA. But it also contains a section that removes criminal and civil penalties for adults who possess, cultivate or share up to four ounces of psilocybin.
We have a mental health crisis in our state. Our current laws are holding us back from potentially life-changing and life-saving treatments, which is why I just introduced #SB242 to legalize psilocybin research in Nevada. #nvleg
— Rochelle Thuy Nguyen (@rochellenguyen) March 9, 2023
Under the measure, researchers would be able to submit an application to study either of the psychedelics to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Regulators would need to develop rules on criteria for approving those applicants.
The research part of the legislation also provides legal protections against state-level prosecution for people who are involved in such studies, including the participants and those conducting the trials.
Studies would have to center on the potential mental health applications of the substances, such as the treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and migraines.
Beyond research, another section of the bill would broadly legalize psilocybin for adults 18 and older.
It says that the possession, consumption, cultivation, manufacturing, sharing, testing and delivery of psilocybin would not constitute “a violation of any law, ordinance, rule or regulation of this State or any political subdivision of this State.”
The whereas section of the measure states that Nevada “has a high prevalence of adults with behavioral health conditions,” and studies show that psilocybin and MDMA have “efficacy and safety in the treatment of a variety of behavioral health conditions.”
“Numerous state and local lawmaking bodies throughout the United States have already enacted or are currently considering legislation decriminalizing certain conduct by certain persons relating to psilocybin and psilocin,” it says.
Nevadans deserve access to natural medicines that could potentially improve our mental health crisis.
Legalizing psilocybin for research purposes is an economic development tool that can propel our state as a national leader in this field. https://t.co/4841IWQOKW
— Fabian Doñate (@fabiandonate) March 9, 2023
Nevada is joining a rapidly growing list of states where legislators are pursuing psychedelics reform this session as interest in the therapeutic potential into entheogenic substances expands.
In Vermont, for example, lawmakers recently filed legislation to decriminalize and legalize psychedelics for adults.
Also this month, Texas lawmakers filed a series of bills aimed at promoting and expanding psychedelics research in the state.
Marijuana Moment is tracking hundreds of cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.
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Last week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill to promote research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin while providing legal protections against prosecution for people with eligible conditions who possess the psychedelic.
That same day, a Rhode Island House committee held a hearing on a bill that would remove penalties for the use and possession of psilocybin and allow the home cultivation of psychedelic mushrooms for personal use.
Hawaii’s Senate and House also passed three psychedelics research bills last week.
And Missouri lawmakers cleared a GOP-led bill in committee this month to facilitate research into the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine.
Those are just a few examples of the types of reforms that legislators across the country are considering this session.
An analysis published in an American Medical Association journal last year concluded that a majority of states will legalize psychedelics by 2037, based on statistical modeling of policy trends.
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