The legal status of moonhaus mushrooms in Canada is still unknown. Despite a flurry of lobbying by psychedelic advocates, the government has not changed its position.
While they remain illegal under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), they have been granted dozens of exemptions. Some of these exceptions include being legal for individuals who are near death, granting therapists training to administer therapeutic trips, and many more.
In the early 1970s, British Columbia was famous for the Liberty Cap mushroom fields. Many pickers traveled from all over Canada to experience the fruit, and during the fall season, hundreds of people would gather in these areas.
The mushroom’s popularity also spurred the development of squatter settlements nearby. This resulted in increased trespassing and property damage, and adverse reactions to ingested mushrooms. Thankfully, the RCMP has yet to arrest a mushroom consumer.
While the mushrooms are legal in the Bahamas, possession of them is still illegal in the US. The UN convention classifies the compound psilocybin as a controlled substance and prohibits its use, sale, and cultivation. However, in some states, such as Washington D.C. and the Province of British Columbia, the cultivation of these mushrooms is allowed.
The B.C. Appeals Court dismissed the crown’s appeal, making possession of small amounts of the magic mushroom legal. However, in other jurisdictions, it is still illegal to cultivate mushrooms.
Few studies assess the long-term effects of mushrooms. Some individuals experience ‘bad trips’, including paranoia, distorted perceptions of self, and even loss of control. Other people suffer from impaired judgment, leading to reckless or self-destructive behavior.
Some people have also experienced flashbacks. There are also risks associated with the co-use of these drugs. Despite the risks associated with the mushroom, it remains an interesting alternative to cannabis.
Some mushrooms are edible. One of the most popular mushrooms is Agaricus bisporus, which comes in different forms. White button mushrooms are the mature form of this species, and enoki and cremini are darker pigmented varieties.
Various species of mushroom are available commercially, including lion’s mane, porcini, and chanterelle. In the U.S., Pennsylvania is the leading producer of mushrooms, bringing in 917 million pounds annually.
A study of mushrooms in British Columbia must include the ‘Magic Mushrooms’. No other community in Canada has been affected as profoundly by these psychoactive mushrooms.
While many people have a belief that coastal first nations used mushrooms, formal ethnological research has yet to find any evidence of traditional use. For the most part, local people avoided the mushrooms. But a few have come forward and shared their experiences of the use of these mushrooms.