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Psychedelic mushrooms could soon be mental health treatment option for Arizonans

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(The Center Square) – The trippiest bill of the legislative session just made its way out of the Arizona State Senate Committee on Health and Human Services unanimously.

Psychedelic mushrooms could soon be available as a mental health treatment option for Arizonans with Senate Bill 1570, sponsored by Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, which would specifically legalize psilocybin mushrooms.

“This is not Oregon,” Shope said at a news conference on Tuesday, assuring that this drug would be extremely regulated if Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs ultimately decides to sign the bill into law.

“This is a state that has embraced new thought in the field of medicine for many, many years,” the senator added. He emphasized that the use of mushrooms would be prescribed in a clinical setting.

Proponents of the bill said the legalization would be a necessary step to solving the nation’s mental health crisis.

“We’re in the midst of a mental health emergency and we’re failing,” Josh Mozell, President of the Psychedelic Association of Arizona, said.

A medical doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, and naturopathic doctor would be the ones allowed to prescribe the drug, Mozell clarified during the hearing.

Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy, advocated for the bill in a testimony, saying that he dealt with PTSD after serving in the Vietnam War.

“But afterward, I was a different person,” he said with his experience trying mushrooms 49 years after coming home from the war.

“I don’t know why they would do that,” he said, addressing possible misuse.

The bill itself would also create an Arizona Psilocybin Advisory Board and Psilocybin Control and Regulation Fund, as well as develop licensing and training requirements for “therapy centers” that would facilitate the treatment, according to the bill’s fact sheet.

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