Terminally ill patients can now take magic mushrooms in Canada

Terminally ill patients can now take magic mushrooms in Canada

The Canadian government will allow terminally ill patients to take magic mushrooms, a new law has ruled.

Four Canadians have been approved to receive psilocybin therapy to help treat their end-of-life anxiety.

The main ingredient of the drug is psilocybin, which at high doses can cause hallucinations.

The use of psilocybin in Canada was made illegal in 1974.

This is the first time that an exemption has been given in the country for patients to access psychedelic substance therapy.

Thomas Hartle of Saskatoon is one of the four individuals who will be given a legal dosage of magic mushrooms.

The 52-year-old’s anxiety about his end of life was reportedly making his days “unbearable” and his current anti-anxiety medication wasn’t having the designed effect.

“It gives you a rapid heart rate. It makes you feel terrible,” he told CTV in June.

Speaking following the landmark ruling on Tuesday, another applicant Laurie Brooks from British Columbia said: “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.”

She never considered taking the drug but she changed her mind after her cancer had returned.

Laurie’s doctor told her that she had between six months and a year to live unless she underwent radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.

“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,” she said.

Research shows that psilocybin has the potential to provide long-term relief for anxiety and depression as terminally ill patients suffer from end of life distress.

One study showed that up to 80 percent of patients in a trial reported reductions in depression and anxiety.

The study also revealed that patients showed an improvement in attitudes towards death.

In Canada, the drug remains illegal. The sale, production and possession of magic mushrooms is prohibited unless authorized for clinical purposes, according to Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The side effects of psilocybin include hallucinations, anxiety and panic attacks, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure.

Denver became the first US city to effectively decriminalize magic mushrooms in May 2019.

Initiative 301 ordered police to treat the possession of the drug as their “lowest priority” and bars the use of city resources or money to impose penalties.

The resolution passed narrowly with 50.6 percent of the vote, by a margin of 1,979.

Psilocybin was effectively decriminalized in Oakland, California the following month and in Santa Cruz in January.

Activists are seeking to decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms in Washington DC, according to the Hindustan Times.

If passed, it would be the first of its kind for an Eastern US city but would likely face efforts from Congress to overturn or block its implementation.

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Vicky Sequeira

Vicky Sequeira

With more than 6 years of experience working as a media professional, Vicky flaunts prowess in bringing the juicy tit-bits from the entertainment industry for the readers of News Brig.

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