A petition has been initiated in the House of Commons to decriminalize the use of plants with psychedelic properties in Canada.
Magic mushrooms are the most common example of these plants containing hallucinogenic compounds.
The electronic petition was started by B.C. resident Trevor Millar, a founding member of the Canadian Pyschedelic Association.
Paul Manly, who is the Green Party’s MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, is sponsoring the petition.
“The use of sacramental and medicinal plants, comprising of plants and fungi, with healing and therapeutic properties, dates to prehistory, and such practices are culturally and socially significant to multitudes of diverse populations globally,” the petition states.
The petition notes that there is “mounting peer-reviewed evidence that these traditional remedies support recovery from addiction, and mitigate mental health suffering while having minimal toxicity when used responsibly and in accordance with best practices”.
“In the midst of an overdose crisis, accompanied by the causes of trauma, anxiety and depression, a wider range of treatment modalities, including those informed by ancient and indigenous knowledge, are urgently needed,” it adds.
Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin and psilocin, which are hallucinogenic chemicals.
These compounds are banned under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
According to Health Canada, psilocybin and psilocin produce effects similar to LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide.
The federal health agency notes online that psilocybin is being studied for its “potential to treat various conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and problematic drug use”.
Also banned under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is Salvinorin A, the active compound found in salvia, a plant in the sage family.
According to Health Canada, salvia “disrupts consciousness more than LSD”.
The petition asks for a stop in the enforcement of laws that prohibit or restrict “informed adult use, growing, or sharing of any plant or fungi, where an established record of traditional use exists”.
The petition also suggested amending the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Food and Drug Act, and other regulations to “distinguish and exempt these organisms when used for therapeutic practices, as adjuncts to medical care, for healing ceremonies or solitary spiritual growth and self-development”.
The e-petition can be found online at the website of the House of Commons.
It will be available for signatures within a 120-day period until August 14, 2020.
If the petition secures at least 500 signatures, the sponsor, Manly, will present it on the floor of the House of Commons.
You can sign the petition here.
Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter @CarlitoPablo.