Canada Shrooms

Canada Shrooms

For centuries, people have been picking psilocybin mushrooms, better known as magic mushrooms, in areas such as the ditches and pastures of British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii and the coast of Vancouver Island. Typically ingested as a microdose, the hallucinogenic drug can make people see, hear and feel things that are not there and cause anxiety, fear, nausea and muscle twitches. It has also been linked to memory loss, bad trips and even death. Go here

But despite their popularity, mushroom fields and the sale of the fungi remain illegal in Canada. This year, however, a growing number of brick-and-mortar shops openly selling the mushrooms have sprung up in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. And online searches yield numerous sites that sell the psychedelic fungi for delivery to Canadian doorsteps.

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It has a feel of the 1990s, when marijuana dispensaries openly defied police and mounted legal challenges to archaic drug laws. Police have raided mushroom stores with names like Fun Guyz in Vancouver and Montreal, and dozens of similar stores have popped up across the country.

But it is not clear whether the mushroom shops opening up in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver will radically advance the acceptance of the hallucinogenic fungi among authorities. And if they do, it is not clear what will happen to the illicit mushroom market that exists outside the shops. In the meantime, a therapist in Saskatoon has filed an exemption application with Health Canada to use psilocybin as part of psychotherapy for cancer patients suffering from end-of-life anxiety. He is giving the government until the end of the year to respond and, if denied, plans to file a constitutional challenge that could make it all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.

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