LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Democrats introduced a bill Thursday to legalize small amounts of magic mushrooms and study the possible medical benefits of other controlled substances.
State Sens. Rochelle Nguyen and Fabian Donate introduced the proposed legislation. Assems. Max Carter and Elaine Marzola are listed as joint sponsors.
As written, Senate Bill 242 would legalize fungi, containing psilocybin or psilocin, in amounts smaller than 4 ounces. The naturally occurring compounds create a hallucinogenic effect, leading to their “magic” moniker. The legalization would only apply to people 18 and older.
The bill would also allow a research facility to petition the state to study the effects of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, and magic mushrooms, to treat mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
“We have a mental health crisis in our state,” Nguyen tweeted. “Our current laws are holding us back from potentially life-changing and life-saving treatments, which is why I just introduced [Senate Bill 242] to legalize psilocybin research in Nevada.”
The Department of Justice said there is “no evidence that users may become physically dependent on psilocybin,” but that its misuse can lead to “an inability to discern fantasy from reality” and panic.
A similar bill making its way through the legislature in Washington State would explore regulating magic mushrooms there.
Psilocybin mushrooms are decriminalized for medical use in Colorado and Oregon.
Lawmakers referred the Nevada proposal to the Committee on Health and Human Services.
To become law, both the Democrat-controlled state Senate and Assembly would have to pass the proposal and Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo would have to sign off on it.