Medical marijuana may be on the brink of Federal decriminalization, but it is the component psilocybin (which is found in over 200 varieties of “magic mushrooms”) that is making headlines. The reason why? Because Oregon may soon become the first US state to legalize the fungi which contains hallucinogenic properties.
According to CNN, Oregon’s Secretary of State recently approved language for a potential ballot initiative that would legalize psychedelic mushrooms. Now, it’s up organizers to collect 117,578 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. If the feat is accomplished, Oregonians will be able to vote to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in the 2020 general election.
Wrote Tom and Sheri Eckert, the curators of the ballot initiative: “The intent of the 2020 Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon is to advance a breakthrough therapeutic model currently being perfected in research settings at top universities around the world.”
Currently, in the United States, possession of psilocybin mushrooms is a felony. This is because the fungi are classified as a Schedule I substance. As a recent study concluded, this is an inaccurate categorization as psilocybin is actually the safest recreational drug in the world. Furthermore, a recent human trial found that the mushroom therapy lifts depression better than SSRI drugs in the U.K. Clearly, there is more to psilocybin than the general public has been taught to believe.
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To be clear, activists aren’t primarily motivated to legalize “magic mushrooms” for recreational purposes (though it is a factor for some, of course). Rather, the movement has gained support because an increasing number of studies have concluded that dosing with pscilocybin mushrooms may produce long-lasting positive effects, such as a reduction in PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
In fact, because the mushrooms produce positive effects with zero side effects, researchers from John Hopkins University have recommended that psilocybin be reclassified for medical use. They believe it may pave the way for the psychedelic drug to “one day treat depression and anxiety and help people stop smoking,” reports The New York Times.
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