Unleash the Magic: Legalization and Decriminalization of Magic Mushrooms

As cities begin to pursue decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms, the time is now to legalize the drug for medical treatments.

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Maleah Downton, Web Editor-in-Chief

The way in which naturally occurring drugs are perceived is transforming within the United States. This transformation is for the better. Following behind the push to decriminalize and legalize medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, “magic mushrooms” have joined the conversation. With the recent council vote in June, Oakland became the second U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. This move for decriminalization trails Denver’s initiating May vote regarding psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical within magic mushrooms.

The recent city pushes for decriminalization poses the question of whether the drug should be legalized in its entirety. Psilocybin currently ranks as a schedule I drug alongside heroin, ecstasy, cannabis and others, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.  However, with the lowest potential for lethal overdose, many researchers refute this ranking. In 2018, John Hopkins Medicine recommended the drug be reclassified as a schedule IV, comparing it to ‘prescription sleep aids, but with tighter control.’ 

Medicinal legalization is the next necessary step. Magic mushrooms are far more valuable than their illegal status allows. With indigenous roots in Europe and the Americas, psychedelic mushrooms hold a long history and reputation. Through rock carvings, many researchers predicted that the schedule I drug was used for healing and divination within sacred religious and spiritual ceremonies. Fast forward to modern research, and the psilocybin has shown evidence in preliminary studies to be an aid for smoking addiction and cancer specific-anxiety and depression, according to John Hopkins Medicine. A recent Journal of Psychopharmacology society concluded that a single treatment of psilocybin mushrooms could improve the quality of life in cancer patients for up to four and a half years, according to IFL Science. Phase one of a clinical trial by researchers from King’s College London has provided supporting evidence for psilocybin’s safety. 

Research is only progressing. Magic mushrooms have the capability to treat a wide range of psychological and behavior disorders, including depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and more, according to Healthline. As researchers and scientists continue to await Food and Drug Administration approval, the stigma surrounding magic mushrooms is rapidly disappearing, paving the way to groundbreaking research. Oakland and Denver have already initiated the movement for decriminalization. Though studies continue to be underway, the potential magic mushrooms hold to medical treatment is undeniable. With clinical supervision, medicinal use can be readily available to aid many patients. The time is now for the medicinal legalization of magic mushrooms—unleash the magic.