Legalizing magic mushrooms is a process, and steps are being taken to move this process forward. Psilocybin is the psychoactive, or mind-altering ingredient that has caused the nickname “magic mushrooms.” It is also what has caused authorities in countries around the world, including Canada, to schedule magic mushrooms as a controlled substance.
Things are changing, and the legalization of mushrooms is near. More and more research-based evidence and anecdotal reporting suggests that they are a powerful medicine with the potential to help in profound and lasting ways.
Research supports the use of these incredible medicines, particularly for those with depression and other mental health challenges, and for patients who are terminally ill.
Psilocybe, or magic mushrooms, are a natural, holistic alternative to pharmaceuticals. Plant medicine author Robert Rogers likens the neurological effects of psilocybe mushrooms to “rebooting a malfunctioning computer.”
For example, antidepressant pharmaceuticals can numb depression, while also numbing more positive emotions. A common benefit reported by patients who microdose for depression is their relief from depression with continued access to joy and happiness in a way that lasts, sometimes after a single dose. There are many other reported benefits from mushroom microdosing, including decreased stress, better sleep, pain relief, and more.
Alberta: The First Province to Regulate Psychedelic Therapy
Our neighbours in Oregon are leading the path toward change in North America. Oregon is the first state in the US to regulate psilocybe mushrooms, and Mike Ellis, the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in Alberta made an announcement that will change the lives of many people.
The western province will be the first in Canada to allow mushrooms and other psychedelics to be used for clinical therapy.
What does this mean for Albertans?
Psilocybe mushrooms are currently a controlled substance in Canada, although there are some exemptions. Currently, Health Canada will allow patients in special circumstances, such as those receiving end of life care, to gain access to mushrooms.
In January, Alberta will begin to regulate the use of psychedelics, including mushrooms for treatment. This means that patients will be protected because they will receive therapy from licensed practitioners who will be required to meet certain qualification standards.
How Will Regulating Psychedelics Impact Other Canadians?
As we near January 2023, many advocates for psychedelic treatment are hopeful that regulating practitioners will pave the way for other provinces in Canada.
Because more research is required in this emerging field, this first step toward legalization will allow for more research to be done. Researchers in this field anticipate that they will discover further evidence of the efficacy, safety, and lasting power of these treatments.
This in turn could give Health Canada greater reason to reschedule magic mushrooms.
Some are comparing this process to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, fearing that bureaucratic involvement will have a negative impact.
Regardless of what unfolds, this is a huge step toward the removal of the stigma magic mushrooms and other psychedelics have, and toward changes that could profoundly impact the health and wellness of many Canadians, starting in the province of Alberta.