Denver dabbles with magic mushrooms, but using them to treat mental health disorders remains underground

Nearly two years after Denver made history as the nation’s first city to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms for personal use, the nightmare of rampant abuse and public intoxication feared by opponents has failed to materialize.

“There has been no effect that has been apparent to law enforcement,” said Denver Police Division Chief Joseph Montoya, who oversees major crime investigations.

Mushroom proponents see the absence of backlash as a key selling point in their push to eventually legalize psilocybin — the active ingredient — as a mainstream treatment for various mental health disorders.

A growing body of medical research suggests that psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs could help treat anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. That promise has given rise to dozens of companies eventually hoping to cash in.

Continue reading at Yahoo!

Making Waves: The great mushroom debate

Crazy alert! They want to legalize magic mushrooms in Hawaii. Timothy Leary is cheering from his grave.

Actually Tim is not in his grave, when he died he had his ashes put into the nose cone of a satellite, now he is orbiting around the Earth like some wacked out, giggling moon.

That’s what magic mushrooms and similar chemicals do for your mind.

Now they want to unleash psychedelics on the world again. Flower Power is back, Summer of Love all over again, almost.

It seems a state senator named Stanley Chang thinks magic mushrooms are good for therapy so he came up with Senate Bill 738, the Mushroom Bill, which was deferred in late February. His idea is to set up clinics using psilocybin for therapy to cure smoking, alcoholism and depression.

It could happen with close supervision. I mean, real close.

Read more at West Hawaii Today.

Magic mushrooms officially decriminalized in DC

D.C.’s Initiative 81, which passed with 76% of the vote in November, officially goes into effect on Monday, March 15.

DC votes to decriminalize magic mushrooms, passing ballot initiative 81, AP says

Initiative 81, formally known as the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020, does not make it legal to use mushrooms or other psychedelics, but it makes policing and prosecution of them a low priority.

The battle to get Initiative 81 on D.C. ballots was spearheaded by spokesperson Melissa Lavasani, who said she knows firsthand how much of a difference access to these mushrooms can make. She suffered with depression after both of her pregnancies. After she had her son in 2017, she said she tried every home remedy, and nothing worked.

Read more at wusa9.com.

Medical Breakthroughs Propel Psilocybin Closer to Legalization

The psychedelics market is currently navigating a similar legal situation to the one the cannabis market found itself in for many years. Psychedelics are not legal for recreational use in Canada or the United States, yet medical research on the efficiency of such products may help reduce some of the stigma around them. In fact, some major developments have already begun to change the landscape for the better in this market. For example, earlier in 2019, Colorado became the first state to decriminalize magic mushrooms (mushrooms containing psilocybin). More recently, the state of Missouri introduced a bill that would allow seriously ill people to use substances such as MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine with a doctor’s recommendation.

Read more at PR Newswire.

Push to legalize ‘magic mushrooms’ dies

A bill that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and require state health officials to develop treatment centers where people can consume their active ingredients in a controlled environment was shelved by state lawmakers Tuesday. But the push to decriminalize mushrooms is likely to grow as other states and localities pass similar measures.

Oregon became the first state in November to legalize psilocybin, the main active ingredient in the mushrooms. Other cities, including Denver ; Santa Cruz, Calif ; Oakland, Calif.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Washington have decriminalized it.

Talk of legalizing “magic mushrooms, ” also called shrooms, is often accompanied by snickering and visions of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. But medical researchers and health officials have grown increasingly interested in the effect that mushrooms can have on mental health disorders, including major depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.

Read more at Yahoo News.

California to consider decriminalising LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms could be decriminalised in California amid a wave of drug liberalisation that is sweeping across the US.

A proposed law put forth in the California senate last week would make it legal for anyone over 21 to carry small amounts of eight substances including DMT and MDMA, as well as expunging many criminal convictions.

The bill, introduced by San Francisco Democrat Scott Wiener, says America’s war on drugs has inflicted “overwhelming financial and social costs” while ignoring the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

It is only the latest example of US states turning against decades of harsh drug enforcement, chiming with momentum to federally decriminalise cannabis in Washington DC.

Continue at The Telegraph.

The Mushroom Moment Manifesto

Contemporary psychonauts are looking for insight, relief, fun, escape, and a million other things to make their lives more interesting and bearable.

The Saturday after voters in Washington, D.C., and Oregon voted to loosen legal restrictions on magic mushrooms, my girlfriend and I celebrated in the most appropriate way possible. We each ate almost 5 grams of the stuff, ground up and stuffed into capsules. This was a Venti-sized, mind-blowing “heroic dose” in the parlance of the late Terence McKenna, the Johnny Appleseed of hallucinogenic fungi, and we tripped for a good chunk of the afternoon and early evening.

Journeying to the center of our minds via vision-inducing drugs (variously called hallucinogens, psychedelics, and entheogens) is perfectly suited to a world that is hyper-polarized, literally and figuratively locked down, and increasingly a little too close to an Edvard Munch painting for comfort.

Keep reading at Reason.com.

The legal and illegal ways people are turning to psychedelics as the drug regulator rejects reclassification bid

In Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, down the hall from the cancer day unit, there’s an unassuming room known simply as “The Retreat”.

This is where a select few volunteers are offered a unique opportunity: to confront their deepest fears under a heavy dose of a psychedelic.

Terminally ill patients spend three to four hours here under the influence of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms”.

The participants are supported by therapy before, during and after their psychedelic experience.

“We go to a lot of trouble to make sure that it doesn’t look like a hospital room, but it looks more like a really chilled, really comfortable and inviting atmosphere,” clinical psychologist Marg Ross said as she walked around the room.

Keep reading at ABC News.

Psychedelic Mushroom Bills Filed In Florida And Connecticut As Movement Expands To Multiple States

Lawmakers in Connecticut and Florida have filed new bills to reform state laws on psilocybin mushrooms—the latest in a trend of psychedelics proposals to emerge in 2021.

Rep. Michael Grieco (D) filed the Florida legislation on Thursday, which would establish a legal psilocybin model for therapeutic use in the state, similar to an initiative that Oregon voters approved in November. It also seeks to deprioritize criminal enforcement against a wide range of psychedelic plants and fungi.

The Connecticut bill, sponsored by Rep. Josh Elliot (D) and four other legislators, would simply create a task force responsible for studying the medical benefits of psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms.

The main objective of the broader Florida legislation is to promote mental health treatment with the help of psilocybin.

Keep reading at Marijuana Moment.

More Evidence Magic Mushroom Ingredient May Help Treat Depression – Right In Time For Legalization

Magic mushrooms may be making headway in medicine.

As voters in Oregon and DC opt to decriminalize psilocybin, there is growing evidence that the active compound in “magic,” or hallucinogenic, mushrooms might benefit individuals with moderate to severe depression—at least when used alongside psychotherapy under a doctor’s supervision.

“The findings that we have in our study, we believe, are related to the fact that it was in a controlled setting where we have trained professionals,” explained Alan Davis, a psychologist, social work researcher at Ohio State University, and adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

“We certainly would not suggest that someone go out and take this on their own,” he added. “However, there are currently multi-site trials going on in the US and Europe, testing this in phase 2 and phase 3 trials in order to hopefully garner FDA approval in the next couple years.”

More at Forbes

Numinus Becomes The First Canadian Psychedelics Company To Legally Harvest Magic Mushrooms

A Vancouver-based psychedelics company has become the first in Canada to complete a legal harvest of magic mushrooms since the last wave of psychedelic research ended there in the 1970s.

Numinus Bioscience, a healthcare company with a focus on research and product development, announced the harvest of its first flush of psilocybe mushrooms yesterday at its licensed facility in Nanaimo, B.C., where it operates a research and testing laboratory. The firm is developing formulations and solutions intended for use in the burgeoning psychedelic therapy space, and received a license from Health Canada to grow and extract magic mushrooms as recently as June of this year.

The license, issued under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, allows Numinus to test, import, store, and distribute MDMA, psilocybin, psilocin (two compounds present in psychedelic mushrooms), DMT and mescaline.

Read more at Forbes

Oregonians will vote whether to legalize therapeutic use of ‘magic mushrooms’

On Tuesday, supporters of Measure 109 came together virtually to talk about the mental health benefits of the drug.

If passed, this measure would allow the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities to adults aged 21 and over.

Currently, the manufacturing and consumption of this drug is illegal under both state and federal law.

Supporters say psilocybin therapy relieves debilitating anxiety and depression that comes with a terminal illness.

On the Zoom call Tuesday, attendees heard from a cancer patient in Portland who has a terminal diagnosis.

Mara McGraw says she underwent psilocybin therapy with a trained facilitator recently after trying other options.

“In just one session, I feel tremendous relief from fear and anxiety that had been burdening me for three years now, and I did not receive that type of relief through a year of talk therapy. So, one session gave me more than going weekly to talk therapy for an entire year,” said McGraw.

Keep reading at MSN

Lawyers who specialize in cannabis are eyeing the burgeoning psychedelics industry as companies studying magic mushrooms go public

Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.

The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. It’s accelerated in recent months as companies seeking to use psychedelic substances as medical treatments have gone public on US and Canadian stock exchanges.

Like cannabis, psychedelic substances like psilocybin and ibogaine are Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act in the US, which creates complications for businesses seeking to work with them. That helps create new clientele for cannabis lawyers, who have the expertise of helping cannabis companies navigate complicated laws and regulations over the years.

Read the full story at Business Insider

City Council votes to make psychedelic mushrooms legal in Ann Arbor

City Council members voted unanimously this week to decriminalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in Ann Arbor.

The city joins a handful of others across the country. Ann Arbor is a college town that prides itself in a more relaxed approach to drug enforcement. In the 1970s, it was among the first to decriminalize marijuana. Now, it’s doing the same thing with mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

“They are non-addictive chemicals,” Ann Arbor City Council member Anne Bannister said. “They are healthier than many of our pharmaceuticals people can fill their bodies with for years for treatment resistant anxiety.”

The drugs in question are ayahuasca, from South America, ibogaine, from Africa, and popular ’60s drugs such as mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms.

The Council voted 11-0, saying Ann Arbor police should stand down enforcing possession.

Keep reading here

Some veterans hope Oregon will legalize psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic use

While vaping has falling out of favor, mushrooms are headed in the other direction in Oregon.

The state may be just a few months away from legalizing psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic reasons, if Measure 109 passes in the November election.

Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms, has been outlawed in the United States since 1968. But over the years, studies show the drug may have lasting benefits for mental health patients.

“I’ve just seen these incredible changes occur in people who come into a room closed-off, angry, suspicious, and just really hurting and then after one session of psilocybin therapy, come out the other side smiling,” said Chad Kuske, a former Navy Seal who’s been undergoing psilocybin therapy to cope with post traumatic stress disorder.

Four veterans groups are endorsing the measure.

Keep reading at MSN

Wall Street donors are racing to back psychedelic therapy

Psychedelics are the next billion dollar industry, according to market analysts, and investors and donors are taking note.

Over the past six months, $30 million in donations has gone to the nonprofit funding research into MDMA-assisted therapy, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), according to the group’s announcement on Aug. 20. Major donors, who each donated at least $1 million, include GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, and Joby Pritzker, co-founder of Tao Capital Management and part of the family behind Hyatt Hotels.

MDMA isn’t the only psychedelic gaining support. Earlier this month, the Canadian government ruled that four citizens could legally use psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms), to treat end-of-life anxiety. Meanwhile, clinical studies on psilocybin are racing towards the final stages of trials at a similar pace to MDMA, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved its second ketamine-based treatment for depression.

Read more at MSN

Petition to legalize natural psychedelic drugs in Canada signed 13,000 times

A petition that will go before the House of Commons and calls for the legalization of natural psychoactive drugs has gained over 13,000 signatures.

After it was posted on Apr.18, Trevor Millar, Chair of Board for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the petition gained a whopping 500 signatures in a mere 12 hours.

So far, Ontario has the lion’s share of signatures, with 4,746. B.C. follows in second with 3,698 and Alberta comes third with 1,918.

MP Paul Manly of the Nanaimo—Ladysmith Green Party Caucus is sponsoring the petition, which will close for signatures on Aug. 14. As such, Millar tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that he hopes people will take time to understand what the petition is about.

“It is only about legalizing natural substances right now,” says Millar. “Things that grow from the ground.”

Read more at Tricity News

Magic mushrooms should be made legal in the same way as cannabis so they can be used to treat depression, leading doctors say

Magic mushrooms should be rescheduled in Britain to treat depression, top doctors have said.

Leading experts have called for a change in the law to allow ‘shrooms’ to be used in a similar way as medicinal cannabis.

But they said recreational use would remain illegal, with Brits caught in possession of the Class A drug facing a jail-term of up to seven years.

Scientific studies have repeatedly shown psilocybin — the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms — has promise in boosting mental health, fighting off depression and helping PTSD sufferers.

Experts from Oxford, Manchester and King’s College London universities have called for magic mushrooms to be rescheduled.

Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it’s thought to have no medicinal value and therefore cannot be legally possessed or prescribed.

Keep reading here

Legalise magic mushrooms to treat depression, say leading doctors

Magic mushrooms should be legalised as a potential medical treatment for depression and mental ill health, say leading doctors in a major report on the emerging benefits of the drug.

The researchers, from King’s College, London, Oxford and Manchester universities, say psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, has been shown in early trials to be a promising treatment for mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

They propose a law change that would re-categorise it as a drug that could be legally used as a therapeutic treatment in medical trials in a similar way to the Government’s rescheduling of cannabis for medical use. Any recreational use of the class A drug would continue to be illegal.

Read more at the Telegraph.

Oregon Measure To Legalize Magic Mushrooms Qualifies For November Ballot

Oregon will vote to legalize the use of therapeutic psilocybin under medical professional supervision this year, after an initiative qualified for the November ballot. If approved, Oregon would become the first state to allow the use of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in psychedelic mushrooms.

The group behind the ballot question, Initiative Petition 34, collected 164,782 signatures from Oregon residents to put the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act on the ballot. 112,020 signatures was the official amount required to qualify.

“This careful, regulated approach can make a real difference in peoples’ lives and we’re looking forward to bringing this program to the state,” Sheri Eckert said in a statement. Eckert, along with her husband Tom, were chief petitioners on the measure and also founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society.

Read more here