In 2012, Colorado sparked a movement when it voted to legalize medical marijuana. Now, the state is in the spotlight again — but this time, for its potential decision to decriminalize psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms.”
The initiative is being led by the group Denver for Psilocybin. Soon, they may receive the all-clear to gather signatures and get mushroom legalization on the ballot.
Last week, activists gathered on the steps of the Denver City and County building, chanting “free the spores!” Afterward, they met with city leaders to discuss the decriminalization of psilocybin. As The Denver Channel reports, decriminalizing the fungi would mean reducing the penalty for possessing psilocybin mushrooms.
Said Tyler Williams, one of the leaders of Denver for Psilocybin:“There’s a lot of research for all sorts of mental health issues. Everything from anxiety to depression to cluster headaches, addiction.”
And he’s right. Research has shown the psilocybin-assisted therapy “helps alleviate treatment-resistant depression by reviving emotional responsiveness in the brain.” The study, published in the scientific journal Neuropharmacology, found that depressed people had increased neural responses to fearful faces just one day after a psilocybin-assisted therapy session.
But Williams doesn’t need science to back up his claims. He credits the fungi with saving his life a few years ago. “I had a suicide attempt November 12th of 2015 and I think it helped me get out of my depression, and it’s helped me with my PTSD,” said Williams.
As The Anti-Media reports, western medicine began realizing the potential benefits of psychedelics in the 1940’s. But after widespread use of them in the 1960’s which led to an increase in consciousness, they were banned by the federal government. People have since forgotten that just decades ago, tens of thousands of people were treated effectively with psychedelic substances.
Fortunately, new research affirms previous findings. This study, conducted by the University of South Florida, studied the effects of psilocybin mushrooms on fear-conditioned mice. Even the researchers were surprised by the results, which revealed that that the main ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, empowered the mice to get over their fear, as well as promoted new neurons growth and regeneration in their brains.
Another study, conducted by the University of Arizona in 2006, found that psilocybin mushrooms are very effective in reducing the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As EvolveandAscend reports, studies have also shown that psilocybin mushrooms are effective at treating depression, as well as treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
Furthermore, a recent study published by the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College in London, psychedelic mushrooms tend to make people more resistant to authority. The researchers also concluded that the experiences induced by the fungi cause people to be more connected with nature.
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Image Credit: Cannabis Pictures, Flickr