Cannabis is already legal in California, so what’s next?

Mushrooms anyone?

Organized groups are now fighting to get their favorite hallucinogenic fungus onto California’s 2020 ballot. But what’s all the fuss about, surely Mary Jane doesn’t need the company of 'pizza topping,' Alice?

Well come with me, let’s get cosmically attuned -- I mean virtual…

Magic “mushies” have been growing around us for thousands of years and may certainly explain groovy rock paintings and representations of them in things like Mayan and Atzec ruins and statues, like the one of Xochipilli, the Aztec God of Flowers.

They were thought to be used as a way to commune with the divine and to attain a state of spiritual ecstasy.

Shrooms though, currently remain classified nationally, along with cannabis, as a Schedule 1 drug, which means they are viewed as ‘having no medical value with a high potential for abuse.’

But the global explosion of things like CBD may mean the pendulum might swing towards a change of thought. And here’s why it might also fall in favor of the mushroom.

Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the hallucinogenic substance that is a part of the magical shroom. It’s called -- definitely another triple word score for you -- psilocybin.

And why are researchers getting so excited about this?

Well many studies have shown that when it’s ingested it transforms into a psychoactive chemical in the body that might help dramatically reduce symptoms of depression, messing with the brain's pre-frontal cortex, which affects our mood and perception of things and another part of your brain, that’s a part of processing emotional reaction to fear and anxiety. 

It’s been specifically used to help those with cancer as it seems to facilitate a change in mood, creating profound experiences! Some reported feeling joy and being more connected to the world around them. In short -- it changed the way they viewed their immediate predicament in a very positive and lasting way. 

And when it’s estimated that around 25 percent of patients admitted to hospital are suffering from depression and that in 2017, some 17 million adults in the U.S. had a least one bout of it, add to that the 80 percent of new mothers who suffer from postpartum depression, not to mention our troops returning home with PTSD, and then you can begin to see how research into something like this might have a huge and helpful impact upon our society and the world.

But it’s not that simple. There are some downsides. 

Some users report what is known as HPPD -- Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder -- basically flashbacks which cause anxiety.

Some even experienced feeling anxious when taking mushrooms and experts have warned that using hallucinogens might be psychologically damaging, especially for those predisposed to mental illness. All that said, more research is definitely needed. 

And with cannabis being so popular, I do wonder if there’s not “Mush-room” left in the market.

OK, I’m really sorry about that….