Even though many scientists and researchers are pushing for decriminalization of psychedelic substances, a few are against it. Last year saw a rise in psychedelics proponents advocating for its decriminalization. A number of cities in the United States have already achieved this goal. Denver, Colorado approved the use of psilocybin mushrooms while Oakland and Santa Cruz in California decriminalized psychedelic plants and fungi.
Other cities are following suit and have put more effort into having authorities legalize the cultivation and consumption of these substances. For instance, Oregon is campaigning for a law that allows the use of psilocybin under supervision, as well as the general decriminalization of the drug.
This isn’t the first time that initiatives for social-political change are being brought forward and the debate on whether psychedelics should be made legal or not has been going on for decades. However, not all researchers are in favor of such movements and propose the need to slow down.
One prominent scientist that’s been vocal about why there shouldn’t be immediate decriminalization is Michael Pollan. After Denver won the mushroom campaign last year, the scientist and psychedelics spokesperson urged activists not to rush the process. He states that stakeholders weren’t ready to make evidence-based recommendations.
He claimed that a lot of scientific research still needs to be done, thus they should delay drug decriminalization. Other scientists support this argument saying there may be adverse effects hence changing people’s positive perception towards psychedelics. They claimed that people may begin experimenting with psychedelic substances without adhering to the right measures and as a result land in trouble. This may in turn force the government to completely ban the drug.
The main question that arises is: are these claims are true? Will the public be drawn towards psychedelics once it is made legal? People may only begin to experiment with the drug after learning of its promising health benefits through the media, or reports by psychedelics researchers. An example of a material that talks about the medicinal value of psychedelics is Michael Pollan’s ‘How to Change your Mind.’
One is left to wonder why these researchers are trying to block the process which they started. Besides, psychedelic activists are not against the usage of the drug in proper settings and dosage. Whether legalized or not, such protective measures apply to any drug that’s being tested.
Philanthropist David Bronner views the suggestions by those opposed to decriminalization as a hindrance to the spread of important information to the public on how to prevent negative outcomes. The best way to reduce risks is through decriminalization.
Also worth noting is the role the media and scientists played earlier on in the 1960s, which led to the ban of psychedelics. A repetition of the same could happen.
It appears as though the political stance on reforms could also be a reason for the division among psychedelics researchers as to whether the drug should be decriminalized or not.
In this fight to make psychedelics mainstream, the work done by entities like Salvation Botanicals and others will go a long way towards addressing any concerns members of the public may have.
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