Canada has among the most progressive health policies and is a leader in drug reform. Canada is presently regarded as a hotspot for psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted research, in addition to having the greatest cannabis in the world.
The Renaissance is real, and it is only beginning. Undoubtedly, the future of medicinal psychedelics in Canada is promising. It is wise to examine the history, present, and future of psychedelics in order to comprehend the progress we have accomplished.
In the 1940s and 1950s, scientists from all over the world began investigating the many sorts of psychedelics and the numerous advantages they had. The compounds have extraordinary medicinal, medical, and spiritual potential.
Substances such as LSD and psilocybin were very useful in the treatment of mental disorders, addiction, and dependence. They gave an alternative to electroshock treatment, years of counseling, solitary imprisonment, and lobotomies that was more effective, faster, and safer. Some of these procedures were rudimentary and are now seen as major contributions to the stigma associated with mental illness..
Psychedelics made the process of managing and treating addiction and mental illnesses more humane and economical.
Unfortunately, a number of prominent people were worried about the dangers presented by psychedelics. In addition, this was the era of the “hippies” and “free spirits.” The distaste for psychedelics and those who intentionally ingested them sparked a large-scale push to end their usage in any manner. In 1968, psychedelics were condemned, and as a result, all previous study had to be abandoned..
Fast forward to the present day. It’s a new dawn, and the psychedelic renaissance is here. Canada has become the hub for psychedelic-related research. How did we reach here? What is fueling this sudden interest in psychedelics?
The Canadian Mental Health Crisis
The Canadian mental health epidemic has become a threat. Increasing numbers of people are suffering, and the present treatments do not seem to be effective for everyone; thus, it is necessary to explore alternatives. The greatest alternative are psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD. According to research, psilocybin may affect life favorably by rewiring the brain to accommodate new thoughts, ideas, habits, and memories (neuroplasticity).
Rediscovery of Past Research and the Push from other Countries
The Canadian government is progressively restarting research that were previously abandoned, criminalized, or disregarded. We are picking up where we left off, with more tolerant and flexible laws (although we are not 100 percent there).
Numerous states in the United States are using ballot initiatives to decriminalize psychedelics. Oregon is the first state to legalize psilocybin for the treatment of mental illnesses. This acceptance of psychedelics by the citizens and governments of other jurisdictions has contributed in bringing more attention to the benefits of these substances.
The Booming Cannabis Industry
The development of cannabis legislation demonstrates that even seemingly immutable things may change, even if it seems impossible. Cannabis has undergone a succession of social and legal changes to acquire its current legal position. In the form of exemptions, psychedelic proponents have been granted some freedom thanks to the hope it engendered. Psychedelic-centered therapy is currently available to Canadians under an exception under section 56 of the CDSA.
Looking at the promising research, the shift in government perspective on psychedelics, and the global psychedelic trend, it is safe to predict that there is a high chance that the Canadian government will legalize the medical use of psychedelics for specific conditions, scientific purposes, palliative care, and maybe for spiritual reasons.
This groundbreaking change may result from legislation, exemptions under section 56 of the CDSA, individualized approvals from Health Canada, or through a court challenge.
In August 2020, the Health minister granted exemptions to several cancer patients to use psilocybin as part of their end-of-life care. Since then, many Canadians have received the same exemptions for various conditions and others for non-palliative care.
The hope is that the Canadian federal government will continue with its progressive drug policy reforms and lead the way towards the medicinal acceptance of psychedelics such as magic mushrooms.
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