10 reasons why we should legalize psilocybin ASAP

Published Dec 2, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / microgen

We’ve been with cannabis since the very beginning, but now that so many regions are considering significant changes to the way that the law handles various drugs, it’s time to have a real conversation about psilocybin. Most hear the idea and think of how cool it would be to go on a psychedelic trip legally anytime, but too few realize the positive implications that this shift could have on society as a whole, which is why we wanted to take a moment to highlight these 10 reasons to take into consideration.

1. Psilocybin offers a wide range of medicinal benefits

Though many of us know of psilocybin, thanks to the illegal street drug psychedelic mushrooms, we tend to associate its effects with those that are useful for recreational consumers, but we now know after decades of detailed research, that this natural element can offer significant benefits for medical patients who suffer from conditions or symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Cluster headaches
  • OCD
  • Addiction
  • Stress

2. Recreational consumers can safely enjoy the effects

Psychedelic mushrooms can be hazardous if they’re consumed in large amounts but with proper caution, psilocybin can offer a perfectly safe experience that is much more intense than anything you could ever expect from alcohol or cannabis. If we can legally buy and consume alcohol, which we know kills thousands of people each and every year, it just doesn’t make sense to prohibit psilocybin.

3. It’s a natural substance that can be cultivated by anyone

The scientists and experts that are researching the benefits of psilocybin have the benefit of the money to maintain a completely sterile environment, to avoid potential contamination, but the reality is that the drug is harvested from fungi, so there is always a possibility of error no matter what is done. The process is incredible, but overall unnecessary, as anyone with no prior experience could cultivate it. Psychedelic mushrooms are everywhere as they thrive in nature, and it’s time that we accept that.

4. A lot of people are already using psilocybin

We’ve just mentioned how easy psychedelic mushrooms are to grow, which is likely part of the reason that they are one of the most popular street drugs on the market today. Some surveys have revealed that as many as 40% or more people have tried psilocybin at least once in their lives, which means that a lot of people are using it, whether the law allows it or not. Just like with cannabis, the longer we wait to legalize, the more difficult it will be to undo the injustices that so many will face for using a harmless drug.

5. It would create jobs

In Canada alone, a country that has taken a slow and steady approach to legalizing cannabis, there are currently approximately 10,000 jobs related to the plant, with thousands more planned for the immediate future. Seeing as psilocybin has the same recreational and medicinal potential as cannabis, it would be safe to assume that legalizing it would create just as many if not more specialized positions. We’d need growers, consultants, vendors, and more, all well-paying jobs that could benefit our people

6. The move could help to stimulate the economy

Jobs are the perfect fuel for any healthy economy, but the rise of these new kinds of businesses would also mean more money in the hands of communities through things like large purchases of land, goods, and services. They would also contribute a significant amount of taxes each year that could go towards things that we need like school, road, and infrastructure upgrades, leading to better-funded local projects, and this all helps to boost the economy as they draw in, work with, and create other types of businesses.

7. Removing barriers for clinical and individual research

If you think about it, most of what we know today about cannabis was initially discovered by someone else who had little to no knowledge of the biological nature of the plant, and the same holds true today for psilocybin. Both individuals and experts who would like to partake in this kind of scientific research should be able to, but most are stuck with few opportunities to do so due to regulations and lack of funding, and this is slowing down our ability to learn about the drug.

8. Psilocybin comes with fewer side effects than most other drugs

Psilocybin may be known for its intense hallucinogenic effects, but when it’s used as a medicine, the doses are rarely high enough to cause much for adverse sensations. For most, microdosing mushrooms are effective enough to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of a variety of different medical conditions, and they aren’t even addictive. This means that for the majority, the worst potential side effect is minor nausea as they adjust to microdosing mushrooms, something that very few pharmaceuticals can offer.

9. It could help to improve the quality of life for millions of people

Whether you’re considering the millions of people who may be held back by a criminal record for seeking psilocybin treatment, or you look at the sheer number that will benefit from the laws release of the drug for medicinal purposes, psychedelic mushrooms could truly help to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world. We could fight addiction, alleviate pain and discomfort, and not have to sacrifice the health of individuals to do it, and that’s a pretty incredible thing.

10. It’s going to happen at some point anyway

The trend of microdosing mushrooms is catching on, and right now, the black market is supplying the needs of those who are ignored by the prohibition of psilocybin. Just like it is with cannabis, eventually, the stigma will fade away, especially as we uncover new and more exciting benefits that we haven't even dreamt of yet. We should learn from the mistakes that we now know were made with the herb and legalize psilocybin today.

No matter how much the government struggles to accept it, eventually, the people will speak so loudly that they will have no choice but to listen. It is inevitable, as some countries have already begun rolling out trials and ideas for a version of legalization for this very reason. We know better now, and so we should do better by ceasing this unjust discrimination against yet another of nature's miracles and opening a free market where both legal businesses and consumers are able to flourish.

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