Why is the issue of psychedelic drug policy reform critical?
Our state and country are facing a mental health crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, leading to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Each day between 17 and 22 veterans end their lives, with a recent study tragically revealing that number may be as high as 40 per day.
Our nation continues to battle the opiate epidemic.
Current treatments are ineffective and failing. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, particularly for treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, OCD, and eating disorders. Clinical trials are underway to explore the therapeutic potential for psychedelic medicines such as psilocybin (the active compound in magic mushrooms) in treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This evidence suggests that these substances have the potential to help address some of the most pressing public health issues facing society today.
Currently, most psychedelics are still classified as Schedule I substances, meaning they are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Decades of research have now demonstrated that psychedelic medicines such as psilocybin hold great therapeutic value and carry little, if any, potential for abuse. This has led to calls for drug policy reform to re-evaluate the scheduling of psychedelics and to allow for greater access to these substances for healing. In addition, the safety profile for classic psychedelic compounds such as psilocybin is far superior to that of alcohol and tobacco.
Leading neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt's harm scale is a widely cited ranking system that compares the harmfulness of various drugs based on a range of criteria, including physical harm, dependence, and social harm. According to this scale, alcohol and tobacco are ranked among the most harmful drugs, whereas psilocybin is ranked relatively low in terms of harm. Psilocybin has a relatively low risk of physical harm and a favorable safety profile when used responsibly with appropriate guidance. (Scroll down to see Dr. Nutt's Harm Scale.)
Legislation in Nevada
Senate Bill 242 has been signed into law.
This is a historic moment for Nevada. Now the hard work begins as we embark on this next chapter. The bill, which establishes the Psychedelic Medicines Working Group, lays an important and critical foundation for introducing legislation next session on the path toward decriminalization and legalization for therapeutic use. SB242 is the first piece of legislation in the history of the state of Nevada to touch psychedelics since the passing of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. We commend our legislators for their efforts to revise outdated drug policy so that our citizens may pursue these novel treatments for healing without fear of prosecution. Join us in building a network to support this effort.