Canada Grants Special Exemption For Four Terminally Ill People To Do Psychedelic Mushrooms
Four Canadians with terminal cancer have been granted a special exemption to get access to psilocybin, the psychedelic compound produced by 'magic mushrooms', to ease their suffering.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu has introduced the exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, according to a press release shared by TheraPsil, a non-profict group advocating for psilocybin therapy in Canada.
This is the first time such an exemption has been made, CTV reports.
One of the four patients who has been granted the legal use of psilocybin, Laurie Brooks, said in the statement: "I want to thank the Health Minister and Health Canada for approving my request for psilocybin use.
"The acknowledgement of the pain and anxiety that I have been suffering with means a lot to me, and I am feeling quite emotional today as a result.
"I hope this is just the beginning and that soon all Canadians will be able to access psilocybin, for therapeutic use, to help with the pain they are experiencing, without having to petition the government for months to gain permission."
While this is an evolving sector of research, a study published in January found that psilocybin can help reduce anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness for prolonged periods of time.
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There are further studies being done to see whether the drug could be used to help treat depression, as well as Alzheimer's disease and substance addictions.
TheraPsil says the move is a massive win for people who might have exhausted all options to find a peaceful way to die.
Founder Dr. Bruce Tobin said: "Although it has taken a long time we are impressed with their willingness to listen to patients who have not been heard and to shift focus and policy to accommodate their interests and protect their needs.
"We also thank the brave Canadian patients who have been public in their fight for psilocybin access, along with the honourable Canadian MPs who have demonstrated courage, standing up for patient rights."
While this is a big step forward, magic mushrooms continue to be listed as illegal in Canada.
However, they have been decriminalised in US cities such as Portland, Denver and Oakland.
Featured Image Credit: Arp (Creative Commons)