New Mexico lawmakers advanced legislation on Wednesday to create a state body that would study the the possibility of launching a psilocybin therapy program for patients with certain mental health conditions who could benefit from using the psychedelic.
The House Health and Human Services approved the bill, sponsored by Rep. Christine Trujillo (D), in a unanimous voice vote. The measure now heads to the House Appropriations & Finance Committee.
Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D), the panel’s chair, recounted hearing “fascinating” testimony at an earlier meeting and receiving Twitter direct messages from people “who said this saved their lives.”
“If they hadn’t had this, they would have committed suicide,” she said. “So that was pretty strong for me.”
Rep. Stefani Lord (R) said she’s seen research showing that psilocybin “works tremendously” for conditions like PTSD and depression.
“It works for a lot of different things,” she told fellow committee members.
The legislation would establish an eight-member Psilocybin Advisory Group appointed by the governor that would be responsible for studying and making recommendations on the “feasibility” of creating a psilocybin therapy program.
Members would specifically need to consider policies to create a regulatory framework for psilocybin cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing, as well as “treatment guidelines for the use of psilocybin-derived products to treat certain mental health issues, including patient selection and provider training and certification.”
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The advisory group would further need to “analyze research findings related to the use of psilocybin to treat patients with certain mental health or substance use disorders in a clinical setting” and “monitor policy developments related to the establishment of similar programs in other states, including legal and regulatory issues.”
Members of the panel would include a mental health care provider, a physician, a social worker, a provider of palliative care, a researcher, a mycologist, a health insurance expert and a representative of an Indian tribe.
Interim reports would be due to legislative committees of jurisdiction by November 1, 2023 and November 1, 2024.
“The psilocybin advisory group shall issue its final report to the governor, the legislative health and human services committee, the legislative finance committee and the legislature by December 1, 2025, including its findings and recommendations for legislative action or policy changes,” the bill text says.
An analysis published in an American Medical Association journal last year concluded that, based on statistical modeling of policy trends, a majority of states will legalize psychedelics by 2037.
A bipartisan duo of federal lawmakers relaunched a congressional psychedelics caucus on Thursday.
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Image courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos.