On the first day of 2023, the state of Oregon officially legalized the adult use of psilocybin – a natural compound found in magic mushrooms, responsible for the psychedelic effects or “trip” that users experience.
In 2020, Oregon passed a ballot that allowed the Oregon Health Authority to license and regulate the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of psilocybin products and to oversee psilocybin services. Now with the recent legalization of magic mushrooms, one has to wonder what the future of natural medicine holds.
Why Has Oregon Legalized Magic Mushrooms?
Amongst indigenous populations, the use of psychedelics was quite common. However, mainstream media only picked up on it during the 70s and 80s during President Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs, which forced the research into magic mushrooms to be halted.
Thankfully, following the change in attitudes towards natural substances like cannabis, research into psychedelics like magic mushrooms boomed. Many of these studies began proving the beneficial effects of these compounds, so much so that states and researchers have called for the legalization of these compounds so that they can be used to mitigate and better manage a range of health disorders.
Psilocybin Benefits: What Does The Research Say?
Over the past few years, a number of studies have displayed the benefits that psilocybin can have on one’s health, with much of the research being focused on mental health.
- A 2022 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that for at least a year, psilocybin as a treatment for major depression is quite effective.
- Preliminary findings from mental health care firm COMPASS Pathways found that after a single dose of psilocybin, participants experienced clinically significant reductions in eating disorder psychopathology.
- A small study from Johns Hopkins University found that psilocybin helped with long-term smoking cessation.
- A study published in the JAMA Psychiatry found that participants who took psilocybin experienced an 83% reduction in heavy drinking compared to the placebo group who reduced their heavy drinking by only 51%.
If they’re so great, why aren’t they legal everywhere?
Well, a few reasons. The main one is that use of magic mushrooms can have adverse effects on one’s health, and there is not enough data on the long-term effects of continuous psilocybin use.
Common side-effects associated with psilocybin use include:
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Fear or paranoia
- Swift mood changes
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Loss of urinary control
There’s also the risk of a “bad trip”, whereby a person has an unpleasant experience after taking a psychedelic, which in this case would be magic mushrooms.
In addition to strong and frightening hallucinations, a “bad trip” may cause individuals to make questionable decisions, resulting in severe injuries or even death.
Just how legal are magic mushrooms in Oregon?
Well, you can’t exactly feely distribute it at your next bonfire.
Per the filing, the only way one can obtain psilocybin without getting arrested is through a licensed service center, and you can only consume it on the premises under the supervision of a licensed facilitator.
Also, if you’re hoping to grow some magic mushrooms in your backyard to help with your anxiety, then please note that only those with a manufacturing license from Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) can grow magic mushrooms in Oregon.
So, just for clarity;
- You cannot grow your own magic mushrooms at home.
- It is illegal to possess magic mushrooms.
- You cannot consume magic mushrooms.
- It is illegal to forage for magic mushrooms.
How do I get psilocybin in Oregon?
You’re not going to be getting psilocybin at your local Walmart. As mentioned, the only way you can legally obtain the mushroom is through a psilocybin service center, which has been licensed by OPS.
The following Oregon counties are where psilocybin will be available:
- Hood River
Can anyone get magic mushrooms?
If you’re looking to use psilocybin, you’ll need to be over the age of 21 in order to set up an appointment with a psilocybin service center. Here, you’ll meet with a facilitator who will go over everything with you. They’ll talk you through the experience, set expectations, and help you create a travel plan to get home. This will happen at least 24 hours before administration.
During the administration process, the magic mushrooms will be consumed under the supervision of the facilitator. If necessary, you’ll also have the option to participate in a follow-up integration session after consuming the magic mushrooms. Here, you’ll connect with the facilitator, who will offer insight and support with the psilocybin experience.
Psilocybin is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. Furthermore, the DEA still stipulates, it has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision
Nonetheless, past, present, and future research will continue to prove the viability of psilocybin as a treatment for a range of health issues. While Oregon seems ahead of the pack, it won’t be long before others see the benefits supervised psychedelic use may have on the rest of the population.
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Matthew Schwartz on Unsplash
Longevity Live Disclaimer: This article does not endorse the use of any psychedelic for recreational use.
Bogenschutz, M. P., Ross, S., Bhatt, S., Baron, T., et al. (2022). Percentage of Heavy Drinking Days Following Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy vs Placebo in the Treatment of Adult Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA psychiatry, 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.2096. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.2096
Gukasyan N, Davis AK, Barrett FS, et al. (2022). Efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted treatment for major depressive disorder: Prospective 12-month follow-up. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 36(2):151-158. doi:10.1177/02698811211073759
Johnson, M. W., Garcia-Romeu, A., & Griffiths, R. R. (2017). Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 43(1), 55–60. https://doi.org/10.3109/00952990.2016.1170135