Will Shrooms Become Legal?

Will Shrooms Become Legal?

Its psychoactive ingredient, psilocybin, has seen increased efforts towards legalization, resulting in its first decriminalization in Denver.

Its psychoactive ingredient, psilocybin, has seen increased efforts towards legalization, resulting in its first decriminalization in Denver.

Text: Julian Wright

There was once a time when partaking in the consumption of magic mushrooms, colloquially known as shrooms, made you seem like a degenerate. In some areas of the US, that's still the case, but not so much in Denver, Colorado. In May, Denver became the first municipality in the States to decriminalize psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in shrooms. Just like they did with marijuana, Coloradans are leading the pack in legal drug usage. But they're not the only ones anymore: Oakland has decriminalized as well. It's not just these liberal microcosms talking about it. Growing fodder and congressional support from the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) have shaken up attitudes on Capitol Hill. Our nation is heading down a magic mushroom-lined road towards legalization.

For those unfamiliar with using, it's not like shrooms are entirely the best experience. Reddit users compare the fungi's taste to raw spaghetti or soil after rain. Though that may sound anything but appetizing, the appeal to shrooms is psychological, even beyond just a fun "trip." The psychedelic is linked to elevations in positive attitude and behavior and has potential in treating depression, eating disorders, anxiety, addiction and PTSD. 67% of users in a controlled study reported taking shrooms as "either the single most meaningful experience of his or her life or among the top five most meaningful experiences of his or her life." It's these effects that shrooms and psilocybin have on their users that have led to greater pressure to legalize the substance. Funding has increased to spur more studies on the effects of psilocybin. Lobbyist groups, like SPORE or Decriminalize Nature, are sprouting up across the country and in our capital. There is a new energy behind this cause that fills a space left vacant for a very long time. Despite their stigma, shrooms and their legality are sporing outwards at a rate it seems like no one can stop.

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