health Canada and magic mushroom

Health Canada continues to drag its feet on magic mushroom therapy. They’ve granted a few Canadians this right, but others have been waiting over 400 days for a reply.

In a statement, Health Canada said it is “committed to ensuring that all people who need end-of-life care receive the best-possible, high-quality and compassionate supports available.”

“Currently, the best way for patients to access psilocybin is through participation in a clinical trial,” the statement said.

They mean Health Canada’s Special Access Program (SAP). And what do you do, as Thomas Hartle had to find out when your Stage 4 colon cancer and some pencil pushers have denied your request?

In Canada, it’s easier to commit suicide legally than it is to get access to psychedelic therapy.

How to Get Magic Mushrooms Through Health Canada’s Special Access Program

The Special Access Programme (SAP) is a Health Canada program that provides patients access to drugs not yet approved for sale in Canada. Its intention is for use in emergencies where a patient has a severe or life-threatening condition, and no other appropriate therapy is available.

Healthcare providers can request drug access on a case-by-case basis for individual patients. 

But the SAP doesn’t provide federal exemptions. It doesn’t give patients a limitless dosage of magic mushrooms. Doctors have to submit an application for each session.

Why psychedelic therapy?

Psychedelic therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin “magic” mushrooms, LSD or one of its many analogues, or MDMA. The idea is to facilitate a therapeutic experience.

Psychedelic therapy is typically conducted in a controlled, clinical setting, with the assistance of doctors or therapists who can provide support and guidance.

The goal of psychedelic therapy is to help individuals explore their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a way that can lead to personal growth and healing. Some research suggests that psychedelic therapy may effectively treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

However, further research is needed to understand the benefits and risks fully. Hence, Health Canada takes a timid approach.

Health Canada is supposed to be responsible for helping the country maintain and improve its health. Their job is supposed to help reduce the risk of illness and injury.

Health Canada’s mandate goes beyond promoting and protecting the health of Canadians. They’re also supposed to provide leadership and guidance on health issues.

They say they work to achieve this mandate by conducting research, developing policies and programs, and regulating products and services. But when 90% of their funding comes from pharmaceutical interests, achieving this mandate is suspect.

For example, we already have studies that show psilocybin has antidepressant properties. How many more do we need?

Does psilocybin “magic” mushroom therapy work?

Health Canada & Magic Mushroom Therapy

Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring psychedelic substance. Research suggests psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms may hold potential as an antidepressant.

In one study, for example, psilocybin was found to produce rapid and sustained improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety in a group of patients with treatment-resistant depression.

Several studies have shown that psilocybin can produce rapid and lasting improvements in mood and well-being in people with treatment-resistant depression. It may also reduce anxiety in people with cancer and other terminal illnesses.

Other studies have explored the potential of psilocybin as a tool for enhancing spiritual experiences, promoting personal growth, and its effects on creativity, sense of self, and social behaviour.

This is all ongoing research. Yet magic mushrooms are not yet approved by regulatory agencies, like Health Canada, for use as a medicine.

They keep saying more research is needed to thoroughly understand its potential risks and benefits. But how much is enough? They approved COVID vaccines with less rigour.

But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at the footnotes section below. We have plenty of research on the efficacy of psychedelic therapy.

Health Canada is dragging its feet on magic mushroom therapy because they know who butters its bread.

And, like with cannabis, you can’t patent psilocybin.

Health Canada & Magic Mushrooms: Legalize Psilocybin

Health Canada policy magic mushroom therapy
Credit: Photo by Richard Vogel/AP/Shutterstock (10255885a)

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest psychedelic therapy works. But beyond that, individuals don’t need a reason to consume psilocybin “magic” mushrooms.

Individuals have full ownership and control over their own bodies and lives. This idea is essential to our concepts of individual liberty and the rule of law.

Individuals have the right to make decisions about their own lives and bodies without interference from others, including the right to take psychedelics.

People also have the right to make choices about their own health, education, and personal relationships. Individual liberty is a cornerstone of liberal political philosophies, emphasizing the importance of individual rights and limited government interference in personal matters.

Some people will argue that you do not have the right to harm others. But it’s a stretch to put psychedelics in this category. Critics will say someone on a mushroom trip may wander into traffic and cause harm. 

But that makes mushrooms the approximate cause. The ultimate reason is the irresponsible drug user.

And that’s why busybody Canadians, whether in the private or public sphere, won’t go for legal psychedelics or even a liberal psychedelic medical program. 

They believe drugs can turn responsible people into irresponsible people. From an upstanding citizen to a hooligan causing destruction everywhere they go.

Of course, not only is this false, it’s downright disgusting.

Is Health Canada assuming someone suffering from stage 4 colon cancer only looking to resolve their end-of-life anxieties will harm society by taking magic mushrooms?

Health Canada, get out of the way.

Footnote(s)

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/psychedelic-treatment-with-psilocybin-relieves-major-depression-study-shows

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032994

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007659/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-022-02039-0

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/adb.13143

https://www.beckleyfoundation.org/2020/09/09/low-doses-of-lsd-acutely-increase-bdnf-blood-plasma-levels-in-healthy-volunteers/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881119845793?journalCode=jopa

https://files.csp.org/Psilocybin/Hopkins-CSP-Psilocybin2006.pdf

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0269881120959637

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33420592/

https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1119598109

https://www.beckleyfoundation.org/pnas-lsd-correlates/