In recent years, researchers have examined potential use hallucinogenic mushrooms as a treatment for a number of different medical conditions. And now those researchers are calling for the drug to be decriminalized.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are calling on the federal government to reschedule psilocybin from a Schedule I drug, meaning it's designated as having no medical value whatsoever, to a Schedule IV drug that includes things like prescription sleeping pills. They base this off a number of recent clinical trials that show that mushrooms can help treat things like anxiety and depression, and also help people quit smoking, and that the drug has been proven to have a low potential for abuse by users.
For instance, the researchers noted in a study that when rats were given mushrooms after pulling a lever, they were unlikely to continue pulling the lever to get more of it. They compared that to cocaine, heroin and alcohol, where the rats would repeatedly press levers for those substances to get more of it.
They also noted that in humans mushrooms are the least harmful drug available to users and society. They pointed out that mushrooms have the lowest potential for overdoses among drugs because there is no known level of it that will cause an overdose. (Marijuana technically has an overdose level, but it would require someone to smoke 1,500 pounds of cannabis in less than 15 minutes, which is physically impossible.)
The researchers did say that unlike marijuana, they wouldn't recommend that patients be allowed prescriptions for mushrooms. They believe it should only be administered in a controlled setting by a healthcare professional who is trained to handle these types of events.
Considering this is the same federal government that also classifies marijuana as being as bad as heroin, we're not optimistic they'll listen to these calls for reform for magic mushrooms.
(h/t Johns Hopkins)