News Update: Magic Mushrooms in North Carolina
Many indigenous people and cultures use psychedelic substances all over the world. And they use them for various purposes. Some use them as a form of therapy. And some use them during rites of passage or initiations. Since then, political, social, personal, and community activities have used psychedelics.
As the name suggests, psychedelic drugs like LSD, MDMA, or psilocybin trigger an altered state of consciousness. And things happen when you introduce these substances into your body. For example, you will experience a different reality. You will encounter some issues with audio and visual hallucinations and heightened senses. Furthermore, you will lose track of time.
And according to new research, these psychedelic drugs have long-lasting benefits. These substances can affect your mental and spiritual state. The fact is that ingesting chemicals can have a variety of impacts on your body, both good and bad, depending on the substance and how you react to it.
Benefits of Psilocybin
There are thousands of hallucinogenic mushroom species, and Psilocybe Cubensis is the most well-known fungi used by humans since ancient times. Psilocybin, or psilocin is the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms. And in recent years, several researchers have published findings that suggest the spores of psilocybin mushrooms could offer even more benefits. For example, they said using these substances can cure various mental health disorders. Also, one study has shown that psilocybin has a lot of potential health benefits.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of psilocybin. They granted the substance a “breakthrough” therapy designation. And they have allowed two different treatments using psilocybin:
- Treatment-resistant depression
- Major-depressive disorder
In March 2019, FDA approved esketamine, the first FDA-approved psychedelic treatment. And pharmacies sold it under the trade name Spravato. Esketamine was only limited to use as a treatment for psychiatric disorders. But in August last year, the FDA extended its use to those with major depressive disorder.
But, some people have reported adverse side effects of using psilocybin. Some have experienced “bad trips.” Some also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In most cases, negative experiences with psilocybin can be traumatic. Or the outcome could be harmful. A trained mental health worker needs to assist those who encounter these incidents.
So you might know someone in your family who had problems using psychedelics. It’s best to suggest to them to avoid using magic mushrooms as this can cause auditory hallucinations and changes in perception. It can also affect one’s feelings, emotions, and thought. Or, if they still would like to try, tell them to seek proper help from a medical professional.
Recent Studies on Psilocybin
In May 2021, the Nature Medicine journal published the results of a study on MDMA. MDMA is Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, known as Ecstasy or Molly.
This study was the first Phase 3 clinical trial. And it’s a combination of psychedelics and psychotherapy. According to the results, this combination helped PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) patients. Those who have severe PTSD showed significant improvements after using this.
In April 2021, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study. It showed the various benefits of psilocybin in treating depression. And studies suggest that magic mushrooms have a rapid and lasting antidepressant effect. Again, this outcome was evident, especially among patients with major depressive disorder.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a controlled study. And based on their report, psilocybin is safe for human consumption. Also, the research team found that people who used magic mushrooms got better faster. Furthermore, the positive effects lasted longer.
This means people with mental health problems could receive more psychological support. Having these psychedelics will give them more treatment options. And magic mushrooms may help your brain by taking it back to where it was before depression and anxiety set in. So if you have legitimate access to magic mushrooms, there will be more than one way to treat mental illness.
Furthermore, psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in stems of magic mushrooms, works well with psychotherapy. Research suggests that psilocybin and psychotherapy worked better than traditional treatment.
Magic Mushrooms in North Carolina
Magic mushrooms, a kind of fungi, are still illegal North Carolina for both possession and consumption. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-89(3)(r) lists psilocybin as a controlled substance. It’s listed under a specific subset in the list of Schedule I controlled substances. Along with psilocin, it’s listed under “Hallucinogenic Substances.” Many people argue that psilocybin is non-toxic and non-addictive. But even so, this substance still has the following characteristics:
- it has a high potential for abuse
- it has no accepted medical use in the United States
- there are insufficient protocols for use in treatment even under medical supervision
Psilocybin, or psilocin is the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms. It’s a psychedelic drug that induces a “trip.” And it works like other psychedelics such as mescaline, ibogaine, DMT, and LSD.
So what’s the current situation of magic mushrooms in North Carolina? Let’s check the details below:
Possession of psilocybin mushrooms under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(a)(3)
Suppose you own hallucinogenic mushrooms or control the area where the magic mushrooms are growing. Then, it’s a Class I felony. It’s the slightest serious offense. And it’s within the same range as credit card fraud, domestic violence, and others.
But with a Class I felony, you need to serve 3 to 12 months in prison. And you can also pay a fine of up to $2,500.
Sale or delivery of psilocybin mushrooms under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(b)(1).
If you sell or deliver magic mushrooms to another person. You will be charged with one or two types of criminal offenses. First, the sale of magic mushrooms is a Class G felony. Under this, you need to serve 8 to 31 months in prison.
Second, the delivery of this substance is a Class H felony. And when charged with this offense, you need to serve 4 to 25 months in prison.
Manufacturing of psilocybin mushrooms under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(b)(1).
If you manufacture psychedelic mushrooms. It’s a Class I felony. So, you may need to serve 3 to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Furthermore, manufacturing includes the following activities:
Possession of psilocybin mushrooms. And having the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(a)(1)
If you own magic mushrooms and have the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver them. It’s a Class H felony. And you need to serve 4 to 25 months in prison.
We have already discussed this information earlier. Possession of magic mushrooms as drug paraphernalia is a criminal offense. So, if you own or use magic mushrooms. And if you intend to use them as drug paraphernalia, it’s a Class I misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. 90-95(e)(3). Especially if you are caught with intent with the following purposes:
- Plant, propagate, cultivate, grow or harvest these kinds of mushroom
- Manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, or prepare psilocybin.
- Test or analyze psilocybin
- Package, repackage, store, contain or conceal psilocybin.
- Inject, ingest, inhale or introduce psilocybin into the body
Nowadays, more researchers and institutions are acknowledging the benefits of psilocybin. But, they still need to study it further and search for more medical and health benefits. This is the only way to decriminalize psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs.
Researchers need to provide more evidence and data. So that lawmakers can establish a better foundation for drug law reform. But, as we wait for North Carolina to accept the use of psilocybin. We can continue to raise awareness about it.
You can help destigmatize psychedelics so that more people can have access to psilocybin in the future. Decriminalizing psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs will give more options, especially for those looking for alternative treatments for mental health issues.