Decriminalization of mushrooms, how far behind is Canada?

Published on by Chelsea

A view of the scenic moraine lake

There is some strong suggestion to say that, like the marijuana movement before, the use of psilocybin and the decriminalization of mushrooms and some psychedelics are slowly inching forward for decriminalization and, dare I say, legalization in Canada. In 2019 a petition with just under 15,000 signatures was presented to the House of Commons addressing the need to decriminalize psychedelics.

This went through the usual proceedings and did not pass as such. With the introduction of this petition, those who put it forward called out a couple of crucial points in their arguments. Criminalizing indigenous peoples' use of traditional medicines (with psychoactive compounds) was a significant part of the cultural genocide during Canada's colonization.

An urgent need to address the opioid crisis and mental health epidemic sweeping across Canada today. With direct correlation and mention to our current pandemic, we are in a deep crisis of both and the continued growing research of treatment by safely administering the use of psychedelics, with such treatments as those with addiction, mental health issues and end of life care. The pivot was to continue to support and push Bill C-235, which would decriminalize possession of small amounts of prohibited drugs for personal use.

So moving away from punishment and seeking a further compromise to allow for use by means of mental health or medical conditions.

If you look on a global scale of decriminalization, we have the usual guys, Netherlands and Jamaica. In 2019 a spark was lit by the legalization and decriminalization of psilocybin in Denver, Colorado. With the energy of organized movements such as Decriminalize Nature, as of January 2021, four cities in The United States have moved to decriminalize psilocybin.

So why on earth is Canada so far behind? We have made the step in the direction of legal psilocybin-assisted therapy. That is current. There hasn't been much growth since the fall of 2020 regarding the government's response, but a more extensive conversation has emerged.

With ongoing research publications, Reddit forums and testimonials coming from the communities of psilocybin consumers, growers and researchers, the vote is undeniably favouring positive usage. Let us not despair as Canadians.

Our neighbours to the south may be ahead; however, the discussion for mental health and wellbeing is on every page and everyone's lips. This movement is pushing us forward for more broadened discussion and use.

Such publications as Vogue, with articles on psychedelic education and a return to sacred earth medicine and the egg inserting sudo-science 'goopers' of Gweneth Paltrow's new Netflix special, are literally taking a dose of psilocybin (off-camera).

You can bet that the first steps are here; there is a lot of research being conducted and published. James Fadiman talks on Microdosing and citizen science's power, where communities have been aiding and assisting in mushroom consumption discussion and guidance. Heck, he's even been getting calls from venture capitalists asking which mushroom companies they should invest in.

Follow the science and the movement to feel empowered in your choices and discuss with your peers. Collective identification and education is momentum in action.