1 October survivors, veterans call for medical research in MDMA, ‘magic mushrooms’

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:46 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Survivors of One October and U.S. Armed Forces veterans are among those calling for Nevada to legalize medical research in MDMA and psychedelic mushrooms.

Senator Rochelle Nguyen of Las Vegas put forth S.B. 242, which would allow medical research for MDMA and psilocybin, otherwise known as psychedelic mushrooms. According to Sen. Nguyen, UNLV researchers are eager for medical breakthroughs in mental health treatment and research.

In 2022, the FDA granted Phase 3 trials in psilocybin treatments for depression, and also expanded an MDMA trial into 10 states. Hawaii, Utah and Texas are among various states considering bills for medical treatments and research.

“I don’t think there is a state that isn’t considering legislation and looking at this as a real possibility. I think we should be on the forefront of that research and that innovation here in our state,” Nguyen said. “I attribute bringing this research and the possibility for treatment to the veterans and the first responders that like approached me, and talked to me about their concerns, their struggles and the success they have,” Nguyen said.

In 2018, FOX5 interviewed Joseph Ostunio, a 1 October survivor and founder of the Route 91 Foundation about mental health options for survivors. As many grappled with the search for treatments and resources, some came across the concept of MDMA trials. Ostunio is glad that lawmakers are considering more options for survivors.

“I really wish that lawmakers would take that into consideration for survivors and [what] we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis,” Ostunio said. “I think that the more tools that we have access to-- shooting survivors, veterans--the better off we are in the long term,” he said.

Sen. Nguyen is looking to add options for doctors to prescribe drugs to patients in the bill, as well as potential religious use for Native Americans.

The bill will be presented to a committee Thursday, March 23.