Published by Alexander Marx Ortega | March 24, 2023
On Thursday, Nevada senators held a hearing on a bill to legalize the possession of psilocybin. During the hearing, they discussed a proposed amendment to remove provisions for therapeutic use and heard voluminous testimony from proponents and experts, including an assemblyman who shared his personal experience with ketamine treatment.
Sen. Rochelle Nguyen’s (D) legislation, which with the change would make possession of up to six ounces of the hallucinogen legal for adults 21 and older, was taken up by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
As he testified at the hearing, “Veterans, law enforcement, first responders and all Nevadans deserve the right to explore treatment options in the safety of their own home, We want to reduce the prosecution of people who wish to heal themselves and protect those who protect us. It’s the least that we can do.”
In its original form, the bill would have simplified the investigation of psilocybin and MDMA while safeguarding researchers and study participants who are adults. But, the suggested change would take that language out.
A Psychedelic Drugs Working Group would need to be established by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in order to “research psychedelic medications and provide suggestions to the legislature,” according to the revised version’s less restrictive language. The legal possession limit was also increased from four to six ounces under the amendment.
The working group would be tasked with analyzing current entheogenic substance laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels as well as the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, particularly psilocybin, for a number of mental health issues.
The development of “a strategic, measurable, and executable plan on how to facilitate access to therapeutic entheogens and compounds, including, but not limited to, psilocybin and psilocin products that are safe, accessible, and inexpensive” would also be required of the members. By December 31, 2024, a report containing conclusions and suggestions would be required by the legislature.
Sen. Fabian Doate (D), the committee’s chair, said “I think that’s something that all of us can see in general throughout this country,” According to the law’s co-sponsoring senator. “The fact of the matter is what we have seen, particularly with this issue, is we have forbidden our researchers from actually understanding what this process could entail—and that has persisted for generations.”
In contrast, the bill claims that studies demonstrate that psilocybin is “effective and safe in the treatment of a range of behavioral health issues” and that Nevada “has a high proportion of people with mental health conditions.”