R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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The debate over psilocybin mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms are still illegal in every city and state in America. However, now that the substance has been decriminalized in Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California, people are wondering why policies on hallucinogens are changing.

Here is the general debate for and against the legalization of the drug many call “magic mushrooms.”

Are psilocybin mushrooms as dangerous as the federal government claims?

The vote for psilocybin mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms are a plant that grows organically from the ground. However, like marijuana, it is categorized as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). This makes the substance illegal to possess, sell or use because there isn’t an accepted medical use for it in the U.S. The Schedule I classification also means the drug has a high potential for abuse, according to the CSA.

However, the molecular structure of this mushroom suggests that it is not clinically addictive. The drug also causes very little toxicity to organ systems and generally has resulted in the least amount of damage to the body when compared with other recreational drugs, including marijuana.

Some studies suggest that taking extremely small doses of psilocybin mushrooms can improve convergent thinking skills, making a person better at devising creative solutions to problems. Scientists have also studied the drug as a potential treatment for depression.

Because Schedule I drugs are illegal on a federal level, it is very difficult for experts to study the benefits they may have. By decriminalizing the drug, Denver and Oakland will help lower mass incarceration and redirect law enforcement toward drugs and violence that pose a more dangerous threat to society.

However, only legalization of the drug could bring tax money into the city and allow researchers to study and make use of its potential benefits.

The threat of psilocybin mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms are not inherently addictive or harmful to the body, however, they can impair a person’s judgment. A person who becomes paranoid or uneasy while hallucinating may see or hear frightening images and sounds. They’ll have difficulty deciphering reality from fantasy, which could cause them to make unsafe decisions and lead to an accident.

Planning ahead and self-conscious thinking is nearly impossible while using this drug, so those who choose to drive or operate any heavy machinery while under the influence become a serious threat to public safety.

Generally, the concern for legalizing the substance comes from uncertainty. In the same way that one person may become mean while drunk, while another person becomes happy, the effects of psilocybin mushrooms will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors that are anything but predictable.

In Texas, the possessing, selling or using the drug today can result in felony charges. If you are facing charges, an attorney can help you develop your defense. As the nation’s laws and options on drugs continue to change, it’s important to know your rights.

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