Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act is reserved for drugs, narcotics, or other substances that the perpetually out of touch bureaucrats in Washington D.C. have deemed to have “no medicinal value” but pose a “high risk for abuse”.
We could write 10,000 words right now on how corrupt the process is to prove to the Feds that a particular medication has medicinal value, but that is a rant for another day. We could also write a dreadfully long screed about how insanely nonsensical it is to keep the cannabis plant on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act since:
A. Everybody and quite literally even their grandma knows by now that this is bullshit and that cannabis in many forms can provide medicinal relief for countless ailments and…
B. The same federal government just ended decades of prohibition against what is now legally termed as the “hemp” plant removing it completely from the CSA even though, by their own admission, “hemp” and cannabis are one and the same with the only legal difference being the Delta9 THC content.
How can we trust a federal government on ANY matter if they try to tell us that CBD extracted from a “hemp” plant is medicinal but the SAME EXACT CBD MOLECULE extracted from a low-THC cannabis plant is criminally addictive and medicinally worthless?
Well, that same question is now being raised by advocates nationwide fighting for safe access not just to cannabis, but to certain forms of psychedelic substances as well. Leading the psychedelic reform movement, so far anyway, has been psilocybin the mindbending compound that is naturally occurring ion over 200 different types of “magic” mushrooms sprouting up in dank forests and from under patties of cow shit around the world.
States are playing this movement as slowly as they can, especially those reeling from the mixed results of cannabis legalization, but just this year some cities began taking the leap to decriminalize specific types of psychedelics like mushrooms in Denver and even ayahuasca, peyote, and ibogaine in Oakland.
Almost all psychedelic drugs are trapped, like cannabis, on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act which not only contributes to the unnecessary criminalization of typically chill citizens, but it throws a giant federal wrench in research funding and options. Regardless of this suppression of knowledge, grassroots psychonauts have been performing their own… ahem… experiments for many, many years and much like with marijuana, many of the anecdotal theories about mushrooms being just as medicinal as they are magical are now becoming real science.
Just this past August the FDA very quietly approved the psilocybin compound that turns shrooms from a pizza topping into an 8 hour adventure through time and space and as researchers dive deeper into the mysterious mushroom they are finding it to be extremely beneficial in mental health therapy cases involving high anxiety, PTSD, and depression, to name a few.
When you consider that an estimated 25% of people admitted into the hospital form symptoms of depression and that tens of millions of Americans deal with at least one bout with it each year, this all-natural remedy could prove to be invaluable to our society.
The seemingly overnight formation of an organized, intelligent, and so far successful psychedelic reform movement has taken many people by surprise as these substances traditionally suffer from an uninformed and negative social stigma. The victories in Colorado and California’s Bay Area have folks asking if mushrooms are the next marijuana and if the former will follow the trail blazed by the latter.
MUSHROOMS & MARIJUANA / APPLES & BANANAS
Yeah, yeah, we’ve said it a million times here at Disorderly Conduction but it’s still as true as it ever was – DECRIMINALIZATION ≠ LEGALIZATION. When any substance gets decriminalized it only protects the Demand side of the market – consumers like you and I. That’s great, and it’s better than nothing, but it IS nothing if you are on the Supply side of the market as a grower, a manufacturer, or a dealer. Those people are still fucked for supplying you with a substance you cannot be arrested for possessing.
It sure didn’t take long for that point to get proven when it comes to Denver’s recent decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms. Back in September, federal investigators executed a search warrant on the apartment of a 27-year-old Denver resident who they suspected of dealing shrooms. The Feds and local law enforcement collaborated for months to bust this dude, stalking his social media and matching packaging logos to t-shirts in his closet. Who knows how many salaried agents took part in the investigation, or how much was spent overall to take this dude down, but reports indicate that he was pulling in somewhere around $2,000 per month with that endeavor… hardly a kingpin.
So that is a big reason why the comparison between marijuana and mushrooms falls flat, and this shroom slanger in the Mile High City provides a good cautionary tale. You might be seeing everyone stepping out of the shadows to promote their cannabis-related ventures now that reform measures are sweeping the nation, but you have to understand how many hard, long, dark years it took to get there. If you come from the era where everyone on your Facebook Friends List had a fake name and no actual profile picture, you can relate to what we’re saying.
Decriminalization is not a final solution, by any means, but it is often a crucial first step toward true reform. In the meantime, though, watch your ass because, no, mushrooms ain’t marijuana and if you’re flaunting your medical mushroom menu across the internet you might just get the wrong knock on your apartment door one day.
You know what they say, “Real psychonauts move in silence… after a heroic dose in a dark room”
BREAK IT DOWN
We have seen the Feds try to pick the cannabis plant apart and isolate specific cannabinoids and other crucial compounds, and we will continue to see that for sure. But I think that Uncle Sam recognized a long, long time ago that the cannabis plant literally grows like a weed right in our backyards if we want it to, and that the vast, vast majority of Americans will always prefer to ingest it like that instead of in some form of pill or syrup.
Mushrooms, however, do not enjoy that same appreciation for variety, and especially not for their flavor, when it comes to most users. Grinding them up and popping gel caps full, adding it to a peanut butter sammich or a slice of pizza, or just plugging your nose and squirming through it, most people I know go to at least some lengths to avoid tasting shrooms.
The Feds see this as a ripe opportunity to strip the psychedelic mushroom and similar nature-based healing plants down to lab-grade components that can then be recategorized and repackaged and resold by big-titted pharma reps to dimwitted doctors to prescribe to the rest of us if they deem us worthy. Fuck that, but, that’s probably the not-so-distant future of psychedelic reform.
New laws make new outlaws and I’m afraid that when it comes to psychedelics we can forget about protections for home production or trippy ass farmer’s markets anytime soon, if ever.
That is a way that Mary Jane and Magic Mushrooms are similar, though, in that you can use your voice to try to enact the change you want to see. If growing your own matters to you, you’re going to have to fight for it.
Fortunately, there are some very worthwhile organizations at the front lines of that battle and your support or membership is the ammunition they need to succeed.
For more information on how to help shape the future of psychedelic reform in America, check out The California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative 2020