Advocates, Legislators in Nevada Call for More Research into Psychedelic Medicine

October 13, 2022 10:42:05

We have seen interest in psychedelics increasing these last few years as more studies on the benefits of these substances come to light. Thus far, numerous studies have found that substances such as MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and mescaline can be useful in the treatment of a range of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and substance-use disorders.

A few weeks ago, representatives from a nonprofit advocating for psychedelic therapies for veterans presented a letter to the House Veterans Affairs Committee Meeting in Nevada. The letter pushed for more funding to be allocated for research into psychedelics. In their letter, the Reason for Hope representatives stated that there was an urgent need to research new therapies with the potential to provide healing and relief to people who hadn’t benefited from current therapies, particularly those which could provide robust and rapid improvements.

The letter goes on to note that commonly prescribed therapies such as SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are known to largely be ineffective and slow-acting, especially among the veteran population, in comparison to the general population.

Other advocacy organizations, including Decriminalize Nature, have voiced the same to legislators. The organization has several chapters around the country, including Decriminalize Nature Nevada, which has a veteran as one of its seven codirectors.

The Nevada chapter has already seen state legislators join its effort, with Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen even filing a draft request for next year’s legislative session for a measure that would amend provisions governing controlled substances. The measure also deals with matters of research on psychedelics, regulation and decriminalization.

In a recent interview, Nguyen stated that psychedelics could help with the growing mental health crisis, adding that Nevada could also benefit from lessons learned from various jurisdictions that had already approved decriminalization resolutions, including the state of Oregon, which legalized psilocybin in November 2020.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Gordon Brown also said that the state party was calling for the broad decriminalization of drugs and the regulation, legalization and taxation of therapeutic and recreational psychedelics, as well as the end of policies associated with the war on drugs. The party was also calling for an increase in funding for addiction treatment services.

It should be noted though that not every jurisdiction is in favor of efforts to decriminalize and legalize psychedelics. For instance, legislators in Maine voted against a measure that would have permitted individuals aged 21 and above to access psilocybin if they obtained their physician’s recommendation.

While advocates are pushing to have psychedelics laws reformed, for-profit companies such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) are working to get various formulations approved and added to the treatments available to patients suffering from a variety of central nervous system and psychiatric disorders.

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