In 2018, Canada became the first country in North America to fully legalize recreational cannabis use. After several years of legalization, Canada is now moving towards the legalization of their second primary organic drug: magic mushrooms. Although full legalization hasn’t arrived in Canada yet, there are a few areas that are starting to open up to these mushrooms.
Medicinal Magic Mushrooms in Canada
While Magic Mushrooms remain illegal in Canada, there are several opportunities that may change that. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has increasingly been shown as a promising therapeutic. In Canada, one opportunity to access experimental medication is through clinical trials. At the moment, there are no Canadian clinical trials for psilocybin, but the Canadian government recognizes “there are times when access to unauthorized drugs may be appropriate.” In addition to clinical trials, patients also have the
ability to access this healing treatment through Canada’s special access program, at the request of a health practitioner, or through a personal exemption from the Ministry of Health. While neither of these tools is currently being utilized, it may only be a matter of time before magic mushrooms receive medicinal approval in Canada.
Experimenting With Decriminalization
In a small-scale attempt to see what would happen if more controlled substances were decriminalized, or potentially fully legalized, the province of British Columbia decriminalized personal possession of small amounts of certain drugs starting January 1, 2023, and running through January 31, 2026. The purpose of this experiment is to determine if treating drug addiction as a personal health crisis instead of a criminal one will lead to lower instances of crime, overdoses, and drug use. While this is a progressive stance, magic mushrooms are already available in British Columbia, as law enforcement there is more focused on harmful opioids. With the combination of this large scale study into decriminalization and the availability of magic mushrooms, the rest of Canada may adopt a similar stance towards magic mushrooms.
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