The fact that any people have to get permission from their government to ingest a fungus that grows wildly in all corners of the globe is infuriating. Even more infuriating, however, is the fact that terminally ill cancer patients have to get permission from their government to use mushrooms to treat their end-of-life distress. Unfortunately, however, because of fear, ignorance, and complacency, this is the way things are. So, when a government actually grants citizens permission to do with their bodies as they see fit, this is now newsworthy.
Multiple studies, including out of Johns Hopkins, have determined that psilocybin mushrooms are incredibly beneficial to those facing certain death. The studies found that psilocybin produced substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer, and that mystical-type experiences on session days mediated the effect of psilocybin dose on therapeutic outcomes.
After waiting nearly four months, the government of Canada has granted permission to four terminally ill cancer patients to receive psilocybin therapy to treat their anxiety about dying — marking the first time that a legal exemption has been given in Canada for patients to access psychedelic substances for treatment.
In a sick twist of statist irony, Canada legalized the “right to die” with assisted suicide in 2016. So, if these terminally ill cancer patients wanted to simply end their lives with assisted suicide, they could do so. However, if they wanted to ingest a mushroom that makes them enjoy the last days of their lives, they would be thrown in a cage without this permission.
According to TheraPsil, an advocacy group for psilocybin therapy, these four individuals are the first publicly-known individuals to receive a legal exemption from the Canadian Drugs and Substances Act to access psychedelic therapy. They are also the first known patients to legally use psilocybin since the tyrannical state made it illegal in Canada in 1974.
“I would like to personally thank the Hon. Minister Hajdu and the team at the Office of Controlled Substances for the approval of my section 56 exemption. This is the positive result that is possible when good people show genuine compassion. I’m so grateful that I can move forward with the next step of healing” says Thomas Hartle, one of the section 56 applicants battling cancer.
Laurie Brooks, another applicant from British Columbia facing end-of-life distress states: “I want to thank the Health Minister and Health Canada for approving my request for psilocybin use. The acknowledgement of the pain and anxiety that I have been suffering with means a lot to me, and I am feeling quite emotional today as a result. I hope this is just the beginning and that soon all Canadians will be able to access psilocybin, for therapeutic use, to help with the pain they are experiencing, without having to petition the government for months to gain permission. Thanks also to TheraPsil for helping the four of us in this fight. To Thomas Hartel and the other two patients – I think of you often and wish you only good things, especially good health!”
Imagine a government that would tell a person dying of cancer that they cannot have mushrooms that have shown incredible results in giving peace to the terminally ill — because “it’s illegal.” The state does not see the benefits of such medicine. Instead they only see the words scribbled on paper by ignorant and fearful people who once made them illegal.
For years, the Free Thought Project has been reporting on the beneficial effects of psylocybin mushrooms ranging from treating PTSD to addiction and depression. In the land of the free, however, in all places except for Oakland and Denver, cops will kidnap and cage you for having them. But as this case illustrates, in Canada that facade is collapsing.
Canada has been leading the way in fighting psylocibin prohibition, going so far as to openly defy the law by selling mushrooms out of dispensaries online.
As TFTP reported last year, Dana Larsen knows he is not the first person to sell magic mushrooms online. Psylocibin has long been available on the dark web and the non-psychoactive spores which can be used to cultivate psychedelic mushrooms in your closet are readily available from multiple online shops.
“I’m definitely not the first person to sell mushrooms online,” Larsen, founder of the online Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary says. “But I might be the first to put my name, face, and reputation on the line for it.”
What makes Larsen’s move so brave is the fact that psilocybin mushrooms are illegal to possess or sell in Canada. But he’s doing it anyway, and successfully.
“These are useful medical products that should be available,” Larsen said.
This is paving the way for people who are now taking dangerous pharmaceuticals to transition into a much safer treatment. The four terminally ill cancer patients will soon “legally” be able to reap the benefits of this incredible substance.
As TFTP reported, a study published in the scientific journal Neuropharmacology, found that clinically depressed people could benefit from psylicibin.
“Psilocybin-assisted therapy might mitigate depression by increasing emotional connection,” neuroscientist and study author Leor Roseman, a Ph.D. student at Imperial College London, explained to PsyPost.
This is almost the exact opposite of how standard anti-depressants operate, as SSRI’s typically work by creating an “emotional blunting.”
“[T]his is unlike SSRI antidepressants which are criticized for creating in many people a general emotional blunting,” noted Roseman.
“I believe that psychedelics hold a potential to cure deep psychological wounds, and I believe that by investigating their neuropsychopharmacological mechanism, we can learn to understand this potential,” explained Roseman.
The government also stands to lose if more people follow in Larsen’s footsteps and choose to disobey.
As TFTP previously reported, mushrooms and psychedelics used to be widely accepted as a treatment for many ailments until government moved in to stop the expansion of human consciousness.
In the 1940s, western medicine began realizing the potential for psychedelics to treat addiction and psychiatric disorders. Tens of thousands of people were treated effectively, and psychedelic drugs were on the fast track to becoming mainstream medicine. But the beast of oppression reared its ugly head.
In 1967 and 1970, the UK and US governments cast all psychedelic substances into the pit of prohibition. People were waking up to the fact that governments intended to keep the world in a state of war, and that governments were working to keep the populace sedated under a cloak of consumerism. The collective mind expansion of that era came to a screeching halt under the boot and truncheon.
As John Vibes pointed out last January, a study actually confirmed the fear of authoritarians and showed they have every reason to oppose legal mushrooms. According to the study from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, psychedelic mushrooms tend to make people more resistant to authority. They also found the psychedelic experience induced by these mushrooms also cause people to be more connected with nature.
“Our findings tentatively raise the possibility that given in this way, psilocybin may produce sustained changes in outlook and political perspective, here in the direction of increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarianism,” researchers Taylor Lyons and Robin L. Carhart-Harris write in the study.
Now, as people share information globally, instantaneously, on a scale unstoppable by the state, we are resuming the advancement of medical research on psychedelic substances. Scientists are challenging the irrational classification of psychedelics as “class A” (UK) or “schedule 1” (US) substances, characterized as having no medical use and high potential for addiction. And, the recent pushes in Colorado, Oakland, and Canada are evidence of this.
After 40 years, it appears that another brick in the wall of prohibition is beginning to crumble in the face of science and logic. Now, if we can get all governments to stop arresting people for doing with their bodies what they see fit.