Should Psychedelics Be Openly Sold in America?
Should we openly sell psychedelics? The advantages of selling magic mushrooms openly
In early December, news of a Portland store making waves online for openly selling magic mushrooms.
Customers flocked and waited in line for hours to enter the Shroom House on West Burnside Street. Not long after, the police searched the store and the owner was arrested. But Oregon is known for having some of the loosest drug laws in the United States, and they were the first state to legalize psilocybin even for recreational use back in 2020. However, there are still certain regulations that must be followed, such as using psilocybin only in licensed service centers under the supervision of trained facilitators who must adhere to certain criteria.
But, like marijuana, psilocybin is still a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). That hasn’t stopped people from taking it and conducting studies that are proving more and more of its valuable health benefits.
However, Shroom House wasn’t the first – and probably won’t be the last – store where adults can openly purchase magic mushrooms.
Several cities continue to decriminalize psilocybin through city council votes or ballot initiatives. Denver was the very first city in the United States to do so, back in May 2019, decriminalizing the use and possession of mushrooms containing psilocybin. Other cities have since followed, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Oakland in California, Seattle in Washington, Detroit in Michigan and several others including counties.
This affects both local residents and parents who live in and near such areas and shops where magic mushrooms can be bought openly. But for countless others, access to magic mushrooms is the difference between a life well-lived and a difficult one — plagued by depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many other mental illnesses that prevent one from having any semblance of normality. Despite this, countless people struggle to get the right help, let alone magic mushrooms, because they are blocked in a system that benefits from illness.
Even people who don’t suffer from mental illness can benefit from microdosing on psilocybin occasionally. What is known as ego death, a transcendental experience that occurs in many people who stumble upon magic mushrooms, can change your perception of life for the better. The explanation and experience of ego death varies greatly from person to person, but at the end of the day it changes your way of thinking and your perception of yourself and the world in a positive way.
But if you go to a pharmacy, you can buy countless chemical and pharmaceutical products without question. Underage teenagers can get their hands on bottles of alcohol and packs of cigarettes at shady, uncontrolled, and unsuspecting gas stations. None of these substances can improve life; In fact, they are dangerously addictive and have fatal long-term effects.
So should we allow psychedelics to be openly sold?
The case for the public sale of psychedelics
Given psilocybin’s excellent safety profile, especially when compared to the side effects of countless over-the-counter medications and pharmaceutical prescriptions, we should definitely sell psilocybin openly. However, I believe that proper regulation is necessary. It should be regulated the same way medical marijuana is: States could determine whether adults can obtain it for recreational purposes or for medical reasons, the latter requiring a license or doctor’s recommendation.
Psilocybin sold openly will also greatly increase education and awareness of the drug. It will help reverse years of damage caused by the war on drugs and proves that once these drugs have been banned and stigmatized, they do indeed have important medical and therapeutic uses. Not only are they trippy drugs—although magic mushrooms are, of course, safe recreational drugs—but they have wide-ranging, significant medical benefits for everyone.
Slowly but surely: The growing popularity of magic mushrooms has broken down the barriers of misinformation created by the war on drugs, and more Americans than ever are realizing their potential. A June 2021 Hill-HarrisX poll found that over a third of US voters believe psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms have medicinal value. Meanwhile, a 2020 study by research firm Green Horizons found that 38% of adults in the United States support the legalization of magic mushrooms in certain circumstances. Twenty-five percent think mushrooms should be legalized in certain circumstances, such as for religious or medicinal reasons, and 13% said mushrooms should be fully legalized.
Luckily, different states and counties have different statutes regarding magic mushrooms; While some have decriminalized or legalized magic mushrooms, others have lowered the barriers to research, and these are all going in the right direction. Even policies allowing guided psilocybin sessions – all of this helps pave the way for eventual legalization.
There’s no doubt about it: the psychedelics industry has such momentum these days that it’s almost mainstream, whether some people like it or not. Ignoring the benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin won’t get you anywhere, so you better change your mind and accept what the science says. Of course, I think regulation is key because we still don’t want to run the risk of kids accidentally getting their hands on magic mushrooms. There are many ways to do this, such as aligning yourself with the medical marijuana industry.
Regulating the sale and use of psilocybin is key to a successful regulatory framework. It no longer makes sense to ban psilocybin or any other psychedelics because they are going mainstream. With all the solid scientific evidence that it can help improve life, let’s let the drug help people.
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