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The Amanita muscaria, classified as poisonous, has hallucinognic qualities. Photograph by  Amanita_muscaria_3_vliegenzwammen_op_rij.jpg: Onderwijsgek and reused under the Creative Common Attribute-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license

The Amanita muscaria, classified as poisonous, has hallucinognic qualities. Photograph by Amanita_muscaria_3_vliegenzwammen_op_rij.jpg: Onderwijsgek and reused under the Creative Common Attribute-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license

The Amanita muscaria, classified as poisonous, has hallucinognic qualities. Photograph by Amanita_muscaria_3_vliegenzwammen_op_rij.jpg: Onderwijsgek and reused under the Creative Common Attribute-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license

Shrooms–the next legalized drug?

February 2, 2018

Recreational marajuana became legal in California on Jan. 1. Should other drugs become legal as well?

Clarisse Gueverra and Adrian Llamas give the pros and cons for legalizing shrooms. Where do you stand?

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The Psychedelic Argument

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The "magic" mushroom. Image licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons License.

The "magic" mushroom. Image licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons License.

In the past years, legalization of marijuana has spread to a handful of states. It is a heavily discussed controversy, for the legalization of any recreational drug is bound to discomfort many. One might think, “First marijuana, then what?” This is a valid question to ask, as there are several other recreational drugs that people argue should be legalized. These arguments are slowly rising to the surface. One category would be that of psychedelics, specifically, shrooms.

First and foremost, what are shrooms? A common issue regarding any kind of drug is the lack of knowledge people have about them. This specific drug, fully named “Psilocybin mushrooms,” is a psychedelic drug that prevents serotonin reuptake. Because psilocin, the active ingredient in the mushroom, is similar to serotonin, it can stimulate brain receptors. This causes the hallucinations the drug is well known for.

Further understanding the drug, or any drug, can lessen the dangers commonly associated with its use. Many people avoid learning about drugs simply because of their reputation. Once it is labeled as “bad,” it is immediately dismissed. Although there are several negative effects for any substance, both prescription and recreational, this does not necessarily mean that an increased awareness about it would be detrimental. In fact, it could be quite the opposite.

When one buys legal drugs, whether it be over-the-counter medicine or prescribed, instructions are always attached. Even Tylenol and other relatively harmless medicines have labels that describe, in detail, its uses, warnings, allergy information, usage directions, and ingredients. This allows buyers and users to understand the limits and risks about medications they take. Even commercials advertising certain brands are required to relate any side effects. Illegal drugs, for the most part, do not offer this luxury.

Imagine a world where shrooms are a legal drug. They would be subject to the same kind of regulation other drugs undergo. People would know not to take them if they are battling cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease and arrhythmias. Of course, there are websites and books that offer this information. However, it is no lie that recreational drug users would most likely not take the time to do such extensive research.

Tyler Pullen, senior, weighs in on the topic. “I’m not necessarily supporting its legalization, but it is something to consider. Currently, [recreational] drugs are so dangerous because every batch is different and the effects may not be clear to the user, so it would be easy to OD. If the government regulates instead of outright banning it, then it can create a safer product. Enabling people to use substances responsibly could possibly reduce the dependence people have on drugs,” he said.

Bad trips are a common concern, but these usually happen due to high and unregulated doses. According to German Lopez, writer for Vox media, “The most convincing idea so far is letting people take psychedelics in a controlled setting, in which multiple participants can be watched over by trained supervisors who ensure the experience doesn’t go poorly.” This would minimize the danger of a bad experience. “Regulation and licensing will be crucial to getting the idea right,” he said.

It is an interesting argument to consider. Regardless of where one stands, however, education about shrooms, other psychedelics, and drugs in general would be beneficial to all. Information may not lead to the legalization of certain substances, but it would least spread awareness about the potential dangers of misuse.

 

 

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    Negative impact of mushrooms

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     STOP! Do you know the effects of Mushrooms? Photograph taken by Adrian Llamas

    STOP! Do you know the effects of Mushrooms? Photograph taken by Adrian Llamas

    STOP! Do you know the effects of Mushrooms? Photograph taken by Adrian Llamas

    In California, the legal sale of marijuana took place on Jan. 1, 2018; now many are looking to do the same with mushrooms. However, there are many plausible reasons, such as health issues and economy changes, to keep mushrooms from being legalized in California.

    Mushrooms are described as “mushrooms that contain psilocybin, [which is] a hallucinogenic substance.” People who take this narcotic may start experiencing the effects of the drug in under thirty minutes.

    Mushrooms are sometimes called “magic” mushrooms because “some people have felt that their use of this substance has resulted in remarkable spiritual experiences.” A person’s sight, color and sound can change because of the chemical psilocybin.

    According to an addiction website, “People have reported Shrooms to be less damaging than any other hallucinogen or addictive substances.” Usually people are only given the positive effects for what they take and ignore the actual life-changing symptoms that may arise. For example, users can experience health issues with blood pressure, nausea, anxiety, mental illness worsening and many more health conditions.

    Shrooms can also have a long lasting effect on your body when consumed over a period of time. Mental conditions that may arise are disconnected thoughts, constant forgetfulness, delusions and other conditions.

    Mushrooms can affect others as well as the user. While under the influence of this drug, individuals choosing to drive can endanger others on the road. “A person using magic mushrooms is often unable to discern what is fantasy and what is reality,” indicated a web site .

    Legalizing mushrooms will make it easier and cheaper for a teenager in school to obtain it from a drug dea. According toa treatment center web site “[…] Mushrooms are cheap to buy and readily available on both high school and college campuses, putting teens around the country at risk.”There are 75 different mushrooms being grown in the United States.

    “In many of the case reports from the New York University study, particpants reported experiencing intense anxiety and discomfort – ranging from a few minutes to a few hours – during their trip,” according toScience Alert. If you think that mushrooms can help your anxiety, which some people state, keep in mind it may not have the same affect on you than it does on others.  

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