NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The use of ‘magic mushrooms’ in clinical therapy is something scientists are studying around the country. The Department of Health said the natural psychedelic is found in over 200 species of mushrooms. Now, there’s a push in New Mexico to allow a group to study them here as well.
Psilocybin is currently a Schedule I drug in the Federal Controlled Substances Act. However, the FDA recently deemed it a breakthrough therapy.
House Bill 393 wants to create an eight-person advisory group that would study the feasibility of using it in New Mexico.
“Our hope as a society is to achieve passing legislation to fund this bill for a governor-appointed working group to the study the feasibility in establishing a culturally competent, ethically sound, and safe training program for professionals who treat certain mental health conditions using psilocybin as the medicinal application for psychedelic-assisted therapy,” explained Marisa C De Baca, president of the New Mexico Psychedelic Science Society.
Proponents cite studies done at Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, Washington University, NYU, and UNM on the use of psilocybin to treat things like PTSD, addiction, and depression.
Experts spoke about the rise in mental illness-related deaths in the state and said to stop further study of this drug could lead to missed opportunities.
“Their study published in JAMA found 71 percent of patients experienced a clinically significant response which is an improvement that lasted at least four weeks after and 54 percent met the criteria of total remission by having psilocybin therapy,” stated Representative Stefani Lord (R-Bernalillo & Torrance), “I actually support this bill, so thank you for bringing it forward.”
The bill requires the advisory group to create reports on how feasible a psilocybin treatment program would be to treat certain mental health disorders.
Lawmakers are asking for $150,000 to get the advisory group started.
This bill passed the House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously, and now, it heads to House Appropriations.
If this passes, their final findings report would be due at the end of 2025.