News Update Feb 2022: Magic Mushrooms in Hawaii
Researchers have linked old-age traditions and spiritual experiences with the consumption of mushrooms. Various communities and cultures consider fungi one of nature’s apothecaries because these mushrooms contain chemicals that can kill or heal.
The consumption of mushrooms can either improve or degrade a person’s health. Results usually vary depending on the species and the dosage.
There has been an increasing discussion about its medicinal benefits in recent years. These mushrooms contain active ingredients known as psilocybin and psilocin. These substances are well-known for their hallucinogenic effects. They work the same way as drugs or substances like LSD, ayahuasca, mescaline, and ibogaine.
Unfortunately, these psychedelic mushrooms have had a negative reputation. People know these substances as illegal party drugs. Adding fuel to the fire, some first-time users reported negative experiences. They suffered from sensory distortion and terrifying hallucinations while using these hallucinogenic mushrooms.
But, advocates and medical experts would still like to decriminalize magic mushrooms. Why? Because recent studies have shown that magic mushrooms offer profound healing effects.
Patients with eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) showed improvements.
Psychedelic mushrooms have shown promising results among people experiencing sickness life-threatening cancer. Patients were also able to cope with depression and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
More patient testimonials have also surfaced in the past years. Ashley Lukens, the founder of The Clarity Project, had brain cancer. She was able to use psilocybin as a treatment and showed positive results. Thus, she showed her support for removing psilocybin from Schedule I substances.
Kevin Martin served in Afghanistan. Since then, he has battled with severe depression and PTSD. But, he also used psilocybin and saw improvements in his life.
Magic Mushroom Species and Strains in Hawaii
There’s a variety of magic mushroom species and strains. For example, the red-capped, white-spotted agaric is one species. This type of Hawaiian mushroom is also known as Amanita muscaria. Shamans from Siberia have used this type of mushroom first, and Healers use these for religious and recreational purposes.
The Pacific Exotica Spora (PES) is another example, and it’s one of the most sought-after strains of psilocybe cubensis. This mushroom was first discovered on a farm in Brazil.
The Hawaiian magic mushrooms are also known as the Hawaiian Cubensis. According to shroom enthusiasts, it gives one of the best images of a psilocybe cubensis.
Magic Mushrooms: Legalities, Penalties, and Punishments
Psilocybin spores are legal in the state, common among U.S. jurisdictions. This is because spores do not contain the hallucinogenic compounds psilocin and psilocybin. But, once these spores become mushrooms, you will have to face severe legal penalties.
Also, the hallucinogenic compounds found in mushrooms are still Schedule I controlled substances. Substances classified under this category have a high potential for abuse. This happens when these substances are not consumed in a controlled environment.
Magic mushrooms are still considered illegal in Hawaii under state and federal law. So, if you get caught in possession of psilocybin mushrooms, you will need to pay a fine or even serve jail time.
In 2020, there were a lot of developments that happened. Many have pushed for the decriminalization and legalization of magic mushrooms. Lawmakers introduced SR196, SCR 241, HR 176, and HCR 195. These resolutions were essential to start the legalization of psilocybin-based products.
To do this, the state department had to assemble a working group. The working group consists of government officials and medical professionals. They also involved drug policy experts and advocates. The working group examined all available research about magic mushrooms. They retrieved results from clinical trials and case studies of these substances.
The working group had to create and submit a preliminary report to the legislature in 2021. Then, before the start of this year, they had to provide a final report. The final report included findings, recommendations, and proposed legislation to lawmakers.
In 2021, Stanley Chang and other lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 738. This bill aimed to remove psilocybin and psilocin from the list of Schedule I substances.
Also, it requires the Hawaii Department of Health to establish designated treatment centers. Patients can use these areas for the therapeutic administration of psilocybin and psilocin.
The bill also requires the establishment of a review panel. The panel will check and assess the effects of this measure.
Decriminalization and legalization of magic mushrooms still have a long way to go. But, the future looks bright. Several Hawaiian lawmakers, advocates, and enthusiasts have already shown their support. So now, only time can tell.