Virginia Prepares to Legalize Magic Mushrooms

As Virginia cannabis advocates prepare a push to decriminalize a wide selection of psychedelics (magic mushrooms) in the Commonwealth, two state legislators are lauding the therapeutic benefits of entheogenic substances like magic mushrooms.

At an online event organized by the magic mushroom reform group Decriminalize Nature Virginia, Senator Ghazala Hashmi (D-VA) and Delegate Dawn Adams (D-VA) partook as hosts, communicating their philosophies about the increasing body of data indicating that psychedelics could be effective tools to combat circumstances like treatment-resistant sadness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“One item that has intrigued me in the process of educating myself is the kind of tremendous data that is available that demos that these distinct plant-based medicines can heal, to assist and help people in manners that other drugs often cannot provide,” Hashmi stated.

Adams, for her portion, stated she’s “expended a lot of time researching plant medicine, particularly magic mushrooms,” and she reached a deduction that “magic mushrooms offer unique and extraordinary avenues to assist people out of funks such as fear at the end of life and obstinate depression and PTSD.”

At least one constituent of the Richmond City Council also followed the event—a city in which magic mushroom activists are hoping to see local psychedelic reform advance as they work to enact a Virginia-wide policy alteration.

On the other hand, a joint solution debuted earlier this year by Delegate Sally Hudson (D), HJ 530, would employ the state Crime Commission with researching additional approaches to drug enforcement, “including the decriminalization of the possession of magic mushrooms.” It did not make way during the 2021 legislative session, however.

In the meantime, magic mushrooms advocates across the nation are hard at work lobbying for psychedelics reform.

In November, for instance, Detroit voters backed a ballot endeavor to widely decriminalize magic mushrooms, making it the latest state in an increasing number of locales to enact some type of magic mushroom reform.

Earlier this fall, legislators in a fourth Massachusetts city, Easthampton, clamored for a resolution demanding the decriminalization of particular entheogenic substances (i.e. magic mushrooms) and other controlled substances.

The demand comes a long time after the neighboring Northampton City Council enacted a solution specifying that no government or police accounts should be used to enforce laws criminalizing citizens for using or possessing entheogenic plants such as magic mushrooms. Somerville and Cambridge have also pushed to decriminalize psychedelics like magic mushrooms throughout Massachusetts.

The local ordinances also support two measures presented in the Massachusetts state legislature back in 2020. One measure would abolish criminal penalties for possession of all presently illicit drugs, and the other measure would create a task force to study entheogenic substances such as magic mushrooms with the endgame of legalizing and regulating magic mushrooms.

Individually, Seattle’s City Council backed a resolution earlier this fall to decriminalize noncommercial action surrounding a wide range of psychedelic substances such as magic mushrooms, including the growing and sharing of psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and non-peyote-based mescaline.

A measure to legalize psychedelics like magic mushrooms in California pushed through the Senate and two Assembly bodies earlier this year before being yanked by the backers to buy more time to develop support among other legislators. The goal is to take up the magic mushroom reform amidst next year’s second half of the legislative standing, and the senator behind the bill says he’s confident it will become law then.

In Oakland, legislators approved a follow-up answer earlier this month that calls for the policy reform to be embraced statewide and for local municipalities to be sanctioned to allow healing ceremonies where people could utilize psychedelics like magic mushrooms.

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