Utah Bill Will Establish Task Force to Research Medical Use of Psychedelics

Representative Brady Brammer recently filed a measure that would establish a task force to investigate whether psychedelic substances should be used as a treatment option for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions. In an interview last week, the Utah representative stated that while he hadn’t explored psychedelics personally, he empathized with individuals who were struggling with mental illnesses.

While the measure in question, House Bill 167, doesn’t legalize psychedelic substances, it does request experts in the Huntsman Mental Health Institute and others involved in the psychedelic field to analyze research and the scientific evidence on psychedelics and give recommendations on how the substances can be administered safely on a prescription basis.

The measure is backed by Utah Patients Coalition, which got medical marijuana legalized in the state of Utah. The state legalized the use of medical cannabis for qualified patients in 2018, after voters in the state approved Proposition 2. Utah Patients Coalition’s medical director Kylee Shumway stated that there weren’t enough psychiatrists or mental health professionals to help individuals looking for assistance, despite the higher rates of anxiety and depression being recorded, noting that most drugs for these conditions weren’t effective.

Research on psychedelic substances in the treatment of mental health conditions has shown promise, with Johns Hopkins publishing various studies, which have demonstrated positive outcomes.

The measure has also received support from Steve Urquhart, a former state senator of Utah. In an interview, Urquhart stated that psychedelics impacted his life by changing how he saw and regarded himself, which allowed him to see others and love them more. The former Republican legislator formed the Divine Assembly, a church that uses psychedelic substances legally as part of its worship. Urquhart explained that he formed the church to allow individuals to have the freedom to worship with psychedelic substances, noting that his church was about connections, which psychedelics could help with. In addition to this, the former legislator stated that he was optimistic about the measure as he believed Utah’s state legislature would back HB167.

In his interview, Brammer maintained that his measure wouldn’t lead to the use of recreational psychedelics in the state, as that wasn’t his intention. He asserted that this wasn’t the slippery slope some legislators were concerned about when voters in Utah legalized medical marijuana use, adding that psychedelics were a different type of treatment and would probably need more medical supervision than the administration of medical marijuana, as is the case in the places where entities such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) legally run ketamine clinics.

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