Is Denver’s Psilocybin Decriminalization Having an Impact?

In May 2019, by popular vote, Denver became the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin. A naturally occurring psychedelic found in certain mushrooms, psilocybin is currently a Schedule I narcotic under federal law.

Voters approved Initiative 301 (I-301), better-known as “Decriminalize Denver,” which stated that personal possession, use and cultivation of psilocybin (no specified amount) would be the “lowest law enforcement priority.” The sale and purchase of psilocybin is still illegal, but the bill prohibits police and prosecutors from using any public funding to prosecute those charges. The initiative took effect immediately.

It also required the city to create a psilocybin policy review board comprising local officials, law enforcement, scientific experts and advocates.

“In the past two years since this passed, the sky has not fallen,” Decriminalize Denver Campaign Director and psilocybin review board member Kevin Matthews told Filter.

Keep reading at Filter.

Digital Therapeutics And The Future Of Psychedelic Medicine

Digital health and therapeutics will play a crucial role in the future of medicine. Across medical and mental health industries, companies are realizing that the confluence of healthcare and digital platforms will be part of the future of medicine.

Digital therapeutics seem to be especially important in the burgeoning psychedelic medicine industry. The future of psychedelics will be more than simply taking FDA-approved medication, as such potent compounds call for a more holistic and experiential approach to therapy. Therefore digital platforms will likely play a key role in developing this fast-growing sector.

Here are some companies positioning themselves as digital leaders in the growing psychedelic medicine space.

Keep reading at Benzinga.

Proposed California Initiative Enters Circulation: Decriminalizes Psilocybin Mushrooms

SACRAMENTO, CA – Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber has announced that the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures on September 16, 2021.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

DECRIMINALIZES PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. For individuals 21 and over, decriminalizes under state law the cultivation, manufacture, processing, distribution, transportation, possession, storage, consumption, and retail sale of psilocybin mushrooms, the hallucinogenic chemical compounds contained in them, and edible products and extracts derived from psilocybin mushrooms.

Keep reading at Sierra Sun Times.

Bill aims to decriminalize magic mushrooms, mescaline

(The Center Square) – Two Democratic senators sponsored a bill aiming to decriminalize the possession of a range of psychedelics, including psilocybin and mescaline to better treat depression and other diseases.

Democratic Sens. Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor and Adam Hollier of Detroit sponsored Senate Bill 631.

Irwin says the War on Drugs is the “granddaddy of all failed big government programs.” Like in 2018 when Michiganders legalized marijuana, he argues lumping psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs that aren’t prone to abuse next to addictive drugs like heroin and meth is a mistake.

“These are just not the type of drugs that suck people into that vortex of addiction that can sometimes be such a problem,” Irwin said in a phone interview with The Center Square.

Read the story at The Center Square.

Talking the Future of Magic Mushrooms and Their Therapeutic Uses

Marijuana was legalized in Canada just a few years back and we are certain there are not too many who are truly upset with this. Psilocybin, however, the chemical compound found in “magic mushrooms”, is still illegal. It has been since 1974. This needs to change.

Enter Spencer Hawkswell. He’s the CEO of a new Victoria based non-profit called TheraPsil. He helped co-found this venture with his friend and mentor Dr. Bruce Tobin, a psychotherapist. Together they’ve helped a small group of Canadians in their time of need, specifically end of life treatment.

In doing so they’ve given those individuals at this time a new medicine with which to work with, one that isn’t addictive and completely natural. The results have been life changing. They want to help all Canadians, but until Health Canada changes the law regarding the manufacture, production and use of psilocybin, their hands are largely tied.

Read more at Scout Magazine.

What to know about the booming psychedelics industry, where companies are racing to turn magic mushrooms and MDMA into approved medicines

The psychedelics space is booming.

Over the past year, startups focused on turning psychedelic compounds into approved medicines have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from private investors and dozens have gone public.

Research on compounds like psilocybin, the active compound found in magic mushrooms, and MDMA is resurfacing after years of neglect amid the war on drugs.

Here’s a look at the booming psychedelics industry:

VCs have deployed millions into psychedelics startups – here’s what they say will happen next

Venture-capital investors have been at the center of the psychedelics boom. In early 2020, startups in the space said they were beginning to see signs that investor appetite was growing.

Then, we saw a flurry of activity, which one industry exec called a “psychedelic renaissance.”

Soon, VC firms focused on psychedelics companies specifically began to emerge.

Read more at Business Insider via MSN.

Why some Mass. communities are moving to decriminalize psychedelics

As evidence of the medicinal value of psychedelics grows, advocates and legislators are pushing to decriminalize and eventually legalize these long-used natural substances.

Since February, Cambridge, Somerville, and Northampton have passed resolutions decriminalizing entheogenic plants, a family of natural sources containing certain psychoactive compounds. Examples include peyote (a species of cacti), psychedelic mushrooms (which contain the hallucinogen psilocybin), and ayahuasca.

Oakland, California, did it first: in 2019, the City Council passed a resolution effectively decriminalizing entheogenic plants. In 2020, Oregon voters passed a ballot measure giving the state health authority two years to develop a program where adults can purchase and consume psilocybin products under supervision at a service center.

Though in the U.S., these substances famously grew in popularity in the 1960s and 70s, indigenous cultures across the Americas have used them for remedial and spiritual purposes for hundreds of years.

Keep reading at Boston.com via MSN.

MAGIC MUSHROOMS could work as antidepressant, study finds

A psychedelic drug found in mushrooms could work as an antidepressant, new research shows.

Psilocybin, a compound that naturally occurs in some mushrooms, may be able to increase the long-lasting connections between neurons in the brain by 10 percent.

A research team from Yale University believes these connections can reduce the effects of depression on a person.

The study, which will be published in the journal Neuron on Monday, also found that the strength of neuron connections increases as well.

‘We not only saw a 10 percent increase in the number of neuronal connections, but also they were on average about 10 percent larger, so the connections were stronger as well,’ Alex Kwan, senior author of the study and associate professor of psychiatry and of neuroscience at Yale.

Keep reading at The Daily Mail UK.

Magic mushrooms, other psychedelics would be decriminalized in California under proposed legislation

California could become the second state to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other psychedelics.

SB 519, a bill that would decriminalize the possession and sharing of certain psychedelics by people 21 or older, is gaining momentum.

The measure has cleared the state Senate, and an Assembly hearing is set for Tuesday.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who authored the bill, said research indicates that psychedelics help with mental health.

He also said it’s time to stop criminal-justice policies that target people of color.

“The racist war on drugs, which has fueled mass incarceration and torn apart communities — particularly communities of color — has not made us any safer,” Wiener said. “For 50 years, the war on drugs has not made us safer. We have incarcerated as many people as possible, and we have had no benefit.”

Read more at ABC7

What if Seattle decriminalized magic mushrooms? City Council wants to explore that

The Seattle City Council is asking a drug overdose and recovery panel to explore the potential liberalization of local policies on psychedelics like magic mushrooms, citing their potential for treating addiction and mental health conditions.

Seven council members Monday signed a letter to the Overdose Emergency and Innovative Recovery Task Force, which will launch soon in King County.

The panel led by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and VOCAL Washington plans to reconsider how governments and communities can reduce overdoses, racial inequities in drug-user health and criminal-legal system challenges, representatives say.

The task force will delve into questions related to psychedelic medicines, also known as entheogens, among many other topics, said Malika Lamont, program director for VOCAL-WA, an advocacy organization that focuses on the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration and HIV/AIDS. Entheogens include substances like psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine.

Read more at Seattle Times.

Why Is Ottawa Stalling Proven Magic Mushroom Therapy for the Dying?

For many, COVID-19 has made one day blur into the next and each month merge with another in a sameness that’s different from the pre-pandemic feeling of time passing.

But there are some who are never untethered from clocks and calendars as they confront something far more personally profound than even COVID-19.

They cope with terminal illness, and the existential grief and anxiety that comes with an end-of-life diagnosis.

Last year I wrote about what seemed to be enlightenment and compassion from the federal health minister. Patty Hajdu used her authority under Section 56 of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to grant legal access to psilocybin for terminal patients. In at least one case Hajdu gave the exemption to a woman with a crippling life-long mental illness.

Read the full story at thetyee.ca

Dr. Markus Roggen: Quantifying the Medicinal Potential of Psilocybin

With legal access to psilocybin therapy growing, researchers are committed to understanding and quantifying its potential benefits. As the founder of Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures (CBDV) — a British Columbia-based research laboratory that focuses on extraction optimization, analytical testing, and chemical process development for the cannabis and psilocybin industries — Dr. Markus Roggen holds a unique perspective on the issue.

In this written Q&A, Dr. Roggen discusses the importance of understanding psilocybin’s chemistry, getting licensed to research psilocybin by Health Canada, and the similarities and differences of cannabis vs. psilocybin research. The interview also covers psilocybin’s growing prevalence and popularity, the unknowns that researchers hope to understand, and more!

Read more at ganjapreneur.com

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.