Psilocybin is an alkaloid found in what many people call “magic mushrooms.” Because of its psychedelic effects, the U.S. federal government labeled it a Schedule I drug in the 1970s, which means it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse. Today, a growing body of research shows that psilocybin mushrooms do have medicinal value — particularly in the treatment of mental illness and addiction. Cannabis also remains a Schedule I drug, even in spite of the overwhelming evidence supporting the plant’s multiple medicinal uses.
Initiatives to decriminalize magic mushrooms in Colorado and Oregon are also taking shape. Advocates want to remove criminal penalties for psilocybin possession and make it accessible to patients within the confines of a therapist’s office. We could be seeing the first legal psilocybin jurisdictions as soon as 2020.
Research shows magic mushrooms are medicinal
Due to the restrictions on Schedule I drugs, the body of research on psilocybin is small. Regardless, the medicinal value of magic mushrooms remains clear. A recent study led by the Beckley/Imperial Research Programmes found that