News Update Feb 2022: Magic Mushrooms in Missouri
Many consider mushrooms a superfood for their high nutrient content, containing protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
What is a Mushroom?
A lot of people think that mushrooms grow in dirt. But, shrooms need a symbiotic relationship with plants to survive. Thus, they rely on organic matter as their primary food sources, such as cow dung or dead wood.
Most mushroom grows in humid or wetter areas. So, you will find them in grassland habitats.
When you find a developed mushroom, it will usually have the following parts:
- gills or pores
So, how do these shrooms grow and multiply? The underside of a mushroom’s cap contains the spores of the fungi, and the spores are often in a powder-like form. When these spore-bearing cells land in a good location, they develop into new fungi.
Mushrooms in Missouri
In 1987, mycologists established the Missouri Mycological Society. Since then, it has been an excellent resource for mushroom enthusiasts all over the state. Once a member, you can attend their events, and you may join other members as they forage for wild mushrooms.
Here’s a list of the most common mushrooms you can find while foraging in the state.
- Oyster mushrooms are also known as Pleurotus ostrearus and Pleurotus pulmonarius. They grow all year round on wood.
- Boletes or Boletaceae look like your ordinary stalked mushrooms. Some genera of Boletes have a partial veil, but their lack of gills defines them. Mushrooms that have no gills are Basidiomycetes. Other examples of such mushrooms are Polypores. Boletes with orange to red pores that bruise blue and acrid taste are poisonous.
- Coral fungi are often found on the ground or in decaying wood. They thrive from June to September.
- Psilocybin mushrooms are natural psychedelics under the Stropharia family. They are well-known decomposers and are grown on manure or decaying wood. Other forms of this type of fungus are also available.
- False morels Helvella and Gyromitra. These mushrooms look like your regular edible morel, but they do not have pits and edges.
- Amanitas are one of the most poisonous species of all. These shrooms often resemble puffball mushrooms when immature. They usually have white gills and white spore print.
Not all mushrooms are edible. It’s so easy to mistake poisonous mushrooms for good to eat. A lot of them have the same physical appearance.
It would help if you thoroughly understood the specific mushrooms you are looking for. Then, before eating one, make sure to research every mushroom to avoid any health risks.
Though many mushrooms are edible, some are poisonous. But nowadays, a new type of mushroom is gaining a lot of attraction and interest.
What’s the Magic About Psilocybin Mushrooms?
These are also known as magic mushrooms. They are well-known for their psychedelic effects. But now, it is proving its benefits in the fields of medicine and therapy.
Many species of mushrooms were first considered culinary staples. But now they are becoming famous for their therapeutic use,
These types of fungi induce an out-of-body experience once ingested. Consuming these shrooms create the same experience when you take psychedelics. Some of the most popular ones include LSD and ecstasy.
Many cultures and communities use these mushrooms to carry out traditions and rituals. Unfortunately, President Ronald Reagan’s “War on Drugs” pushed the use of psychedelics underground.
Since then, diminished access to these plants and fungi has been inevitable.
Thus, people and communities foraged or farmed these natural psychedelics.
The Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms
Years of clinical research support the efficacy of many psychedelic drugs. Clinical trials show the positive effects of these substances in treating the following:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- anxiety caused by a life-threatening illness
Are They Legal In Missouri?
The U.S. DEA considers psilocybin under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Thus, federal law is not accepted for medical use and has a high potential for abuse.
Psilocybin spores are legal, but growing them into whole mushrooms is not.
Missouri state law classifies psilocybin mushrooms under Schedule I controlled substances. Thus, it is still illegal to grow, sell, and transport magic mushrooms.
Those involved will face criminal penalties. For example, possession and use of psychedelic mushrooms is a Class D felony.
It can cost you up to seven years in prison.
Like-minded people in Missouri established the Kansas City Psychedelic Society. It’s a safe space for those who want to know more about psychedelics. In less than two years, the group attracted 500 members.
Some members of the group call themselves “psychonauts.”
This term describes their pursuit of a psychedelic experience through drugs.
More people are seeking to legitimize psychedelics for their medical and therapeutic use. Medical professionals, patients, and activists are now trying to beat old legal barriers.
One of them is Eapen Thampy. He is a registered lobbyist behind Crossing Paths PAC (political action committee).
The committee introduces bills to reform the current drug and criminal policies. Since the beginning, he has collaborated with medical professionals, veteran’s groups, and therapists. Although, he has avoided groups that are only focused on is recreational use.
He aims to establish grassroots support, which can make a difference for Missouri lawmakers on issues on psychedelics.
The Right to Try Act and Current State Law
The Right to Try Act was a public vote initiative that pushed to legalize medical cannabis in 2018. President Donald Trump assigned it in the same year. This allowed patients to try other drugs as an alternative.
So once a patient has exhausted treatment options, they can use alternative drugs. Dr. Zinia Thomas supported this move, and she’s the psychiatrist and founder of the Radiance Float + Wellness Clinic.
When the pandemic hit, her medical marijuana patients had severe health needs. Thus
Kansas City-area Republican Michael Davis plans to refile a bill allowing natural psychedelics. He aims to do this during this year’s session.
He believes that psychedelic drugs offer valuable options, and they are good alternative treatment options for many conditions.
So to protect the liberty interests of Missourians, the bill will only allow these:
- Eligible patients may seek out Schedule I drugs.
- Expanded eligibility to legal access, especially for those suffering from debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. These conditions include depression and PTSD.
- Removal of felony penalties like simple possession of the drugs
- Reclassification of low-level offenses as misdemeanors
Missouri is still stringent when it comes to its drug policy.
But, the future is looking bright. Recently, the legal landscape of magic mushrooms in Missouri has been changing.