LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Under a new state law, Nevada is now exploring how to legalize psychedelic medicines. This comes after a push by lawmakers, veterans, and first responders during the last legislative session.
The new Nevada law requires the Department of Health and Human Services establish a working group to discuss and study the therapeutic uses of psychedelics like mushrooms and then take their findings back to the state.
“A couple of years ago if you had asked me about my involvement with psychedelic medicines, I would probably question whether you were taking psychedelic medicines,” shared Jon Dalton, a former Navy Seal Officer with eleven combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan who took part in counter drug missions in South America. Dalton is now President of the Nevada Coalition for Psychedelic Medicine testifying last week for their legalization during a hearing of the Joint Interim Standing Committee on the Judiciary.
After two and a half decades as a military man, Dalton began suffering from depression and anxiety.
“I started recognizing that I was having some challenges from brain injuries as well as PTSD… I was working through that, working with the VA and they were trying to prescribe me SSRIs, the common antidepressant type medication and I found them to be not effective,” Dalton revealed. Another vet suggested Dalton try something that’s helped many others.
“Straight out told me, ‘Jon you need to check out psychedelic medicine,’” Dalton recounted. Dalton immediately dismissed the idea, but his mental health challenges got worse. After extensive research, Dalton flew to Mexico for psychedelic assisted therapy.
“I had to leave the country because it is illegal here… and it was a transformative experience. It was an incredibly profound event,” Dalton described. While it worked so well for him, Dalton knows it may not for everyone but thinks Nevadans who it could help should have access to treatment within the state.
“The people that need this help are our first responders. They are the people that have continuously put their life on the line to protect our freedoms and our communities. They are not one to ask for help for themselves,” explained Rochelle Nguyen, NV State Senator for District 3. Nguyen, sponsor of the bill, now requiring Nevada to explore legalization says fighting for those who want to be treated with psychedelic therapy allows her to give a voice to the voiceless.
“Our veterans, we have like individuals that served our country did multiple tours. They’re law abiding folks, they don’t want to break the law. But they do want to seek treatment. They want to save their lives, and they want to save the lives of like, their colleagues. And they have found that they have to leave the country to do that and that just breaks my heart,” Nguyen contended.
The working group on psychedelic medicine will submit a written report with their findings, conclusions, and recommendations before the next legislative session next year.
The governor and the executive branch still need to make appointments to the working committee.
If you want to learn more about the law to explore psychedelic therapy legalization in Nevada here is a link: SB 242
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