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Nevada Lawmakers Receive Testimonies on Benefits, Concerns Regarding Psychedelics Legalization

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A joint legislative committee in the state of Nevada recently heard testimonies on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. The presentations centered on the impact and science of psychedelic-assisted therapy, with representatives of the Joint Interim Standing Committee focusing on the judiciary also discussing its concerns around psychedelic legalization.

The panel was introduced by Senator Rochelle Nguyen, who stated that the presentation’s purpose was to afford the committee an overview of psychedelics. Nguyen sponsored a measure that would establish a state working group to conduct research on psychedelics and come up with plans to permit regulated therapeutic access to the drugs. The aforementioned measure was signed into law in 2023 by Governor Joe Lombardo.

Among those who gave their testimonies was former Navy SEAL and Nevada Coalition for Psychedelic Medicines (NCPM) cofounder Jon Dalton. Dalton revealed to the committee that he’d suffered a number of traumatic brain injuries as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and after standard treatments failed to work while still reducing his quality of life, he turned to psychedelics. Dalton added that he went to a psilocybin therapy clinic in Mexico based on the recommendation of a fellow veteran. The results, he noted, were transformational and profound, allowing him to assess core issues and memories that were the root cause of his troubles.

NCPM’s objective is to advocate for legalized and affordable access to psychedelic therapy, evidence-based policy reform and reduced penalties.

Retired Lt. Diane Goldstein, executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership,  also spoke at the hearing. She that the working group that would be created under Nguyen’s measure needed to look into the reduction of penalties for possessing psychedelics or the decriminalization of personal amounts of various psychedelics. She observed that this would help eliminate the stigma that keeps patients from reviewing preparation and dosage protocols with their primary physicians and therapists.

Goldstein also noted that none of the jurisdictions and cities that have decriminalized naturally occurring psychedelics had been met with any significant public safety or health issues.

Burton Tabaac, a neurologist, emphasized the need to look into innovative approaches that could provide relief to individuals in need. He explained that psychedelic-assisted treatments had demonstrated promise in addressing mental-health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and anxiety. Tabaac noted that Nevada had the opportunity to lead this transformative movement by promoting a forward-thinking and compassionate approach to mental health care.

A separate panel that also met last week included Deputy District Attorney John Jones of Clark County and Detective Joshua Garber of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The panel gave a law enforcement perspective on the therapeutic use of psychedelics, with the bottom line being that while they had no objection to legalization for therapeutic use, they were skeptical of legalization beyond a medical setting.

Psychedelics startups such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) and other industry players will be pleased to see that consensus is growing in several jurisdictions regarding the role that hallucinogens can play in treating different mental-health conditions.

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