Voters in Oregon may see a 2020 ballot initiative to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocybin, sometimes referred to as “magic mushrooms” or just “shrooms” are a type of natural hallucinogenic drug.
What Would the Law Do?
This law would reduce most criminal penalties for psilocybin manufacture, delivery, use, and possession. The law would also allow licensed psilocybin manufacture, possession and administration by or to qualifying adults.
Legal Status of Psilocybin
The current legal status for magic mushrooms is that of a Schedule I Controlled substance on the federal level. A Schedule I substance is a drug considered to have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. These include drugs such as heroin. All drugs belonging in the hallucinogenic category, such as LSD, Peyote, and Mescaline, are found on the Schedule I list.
Aside from the federal status, states have criminal laws against psilocybin mushrooms. Two cities, Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California, have decriminalized the use and possession of mushrooms.
National Movement Towards Decriminalization?
Marijuana legalization on the state level, for both recreational and medical use, has swept states across the nation. The next drug to see such treatment might just be psilocybin magic mushrooms.
Denver and Oakland are two major cities that have already decriminalized mushrooms. Denver’s law stuck to just mushrooms, while Oakland’s law went further and decriminalized all natural hallucinogens such as ayahuasca and ibogaine.
In California, there was a campaign to get decriminalization on the ballot but the campaign did not get enough signatures to qualify. At least one state lawmaker in Iowa has created legislation to decriminalize mushrooms.
Oregon would be the first state to potentially decriminalize mushrooms if this proposed law makes it to the ballot.
Medicinal Value of Mushrooms?
Scientific studies are exploring the positive effects of mushroom use. In particular, studies focus on the ability of mushrooms to combat anxiety, stress, and depression. The psychedelic properties that bend the mind may help people see life problems differently.
Scientists face difficulties in studying Schedule I substances because such studies require permission from the government first. Drugs already scheduled on the Schedule I list face the circular problem of being declared to have no medicinal value while also banning studies into potential medicinal value. Marijuana has obviously been stuck with that problem for its modern history.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Ann Arbor.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI.
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