Should We Openly Sell Psychedelics? The Benefits Of Openly Selling Magic Mushrooms
Early in December, news about a shop in Portland made waves on the internet because they were openly selling magic mushrooms.
Customers came in droves, waiting for hours in line to enter Shroom House at West Burnside Street. Not too long after, the cops raided the shop and the owner was arrested. But Oregon is known for having some of the most relaxed drug laws in the United States, and they became the first state to even legalize psilocybin for recreational use back in 2020. However, there are still certain regulations that need to be followed, such as using psilocybin only at licensed service centers under the supervision of trained facilitators, who have to follow certain criteria.
But psilocybin, just like marijuana, is still a Schedule I substance according to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). That has not stopped people from taking it, and from studies being conducted – proving more and more its valuable health benefits.
That said, Shroom House wasn’t the first – and will likely not be the last – shop where adults can obtain magic mushrooms openly.
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 consumption and possession of any mushrooms containing psilocybin. Since then, other cities have followed suit including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Oakland in California, Seattle in Washington, Detroit in Michigan, and several others including counties.
This concerns residents, as well as parents, who live in and nearby such areas and shops where magic mushrooms can openly be purchased. 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 health conditions that prevent one from having any semblance of normalcy. Despite that, countless people are struggling with getting the right help, let alone magic mushrooms, because they are being blocked by a system that profits from illness.
Even people who aren’t suffering from any mental health conditions can benefit from taking the occasional psilocybin microdose. What’s known as ego death, a transcendental experience that occurs among many people who trip on magic mushrooms, can change how you perceive life for the better. The explanation and experience of ego death varies greatly among people, but at the end of the day, it changes your mindset and how you perceive yourself, as well as the world, positively.
Yet, when you walk into any pharmacy, countless chemical and pharmaceutical products can be purchased without any question. Underage teens can get their hands on bottles of alcohol and packs of cigarettes in shady, unregulated, and unsuspecting gas stations. None of these substances can improve one’s life; in fact, they are dangerously addictive and have fatal long-term consequences.
So should we allow psychedelics to be openly sold?
The Argument for Allowing Psychedelics to be Sold in Public
Given the excellent safety profile of psilocybin, especially when you compare it to the side effects of innumerable over-the-counter drugs and pharmaceutical prescriptions, we should definitely let psilocybin be sold openly. However, I believe that proper regulation is necessary. It should be regulated in the same way medical marijuana is: states would be able to determine if adults can obtain them recreationally or medically, with the latter requiring a license or doctor’s recommendation.
Psilocybin, being sold openly, will also greatly increase education and awareness of the drug. It will help fight back years of the damage caused by the war on drugs, proving that these drugs, once banned and stigmatized, actually do have important medicinal and therapeutic benefits. They aren’t just drugs to trip on – though of course, magic mushrooms are safe recreational drugs – but they have far-reaching significant medical benefits for everyone.
Slowly, but surely: the growing popularity of magic mushrooms has been breaking down the barriers of misinformation caused by the war on drugs, and more Americans than ever are seeing its potential. A Hill-HarrisX poll in June 2021 revealed that over a third of US voters believe psychedelic drugs, such as magic mushrooms, have medical value. Meanwhile, a 2020 study conducted by research firm Green Horizons, revealed that 38% of adults in the United States back the legalization of magic mushrooms for some circumstances. Twenty-five percent think that mushrooms should be legalized with limited circumstances, such as religious or medical reasons, and 13% said that mushrooms should be outright legalized.
Thankfully, different states and counties have varying ordinances regarding magic mushrooms; while some have decriminalized or legalized magic mushrooms, others have reduced barriers to research, and these are all headed in the right direction. Even policies that allow for guided psilocybin sessions – these all help pave the way for eventual legalization.
There’s no doubt about it: there’s such a momentum in the psychedelic industry these days that they are already almost mainstream, whether some people like it or not. Ignoring the benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin is not going to get you anywhere, so you’re better off changing your mind and embracing what the science says. Certainly, I do believe that regulation is key because we still do not want the risk of kids getting their hands on magic mushrooms by accident. There are many ways to go about it, like taking cues from the medical marijuana industry, for one.
Regulating the sale and use of psilocybin is the key to a successful legal framework. There is no longer any point in banning psilocybin or other psychedelics because they are on their way to becoming mainstream. With all the solid scientific evidence out there that it can help improve lives, let’s allow the drug to help people.