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California Could Legalize Magic Mushrooms in 2018 (hightimes.com)
250 points by whatyoucantsay 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 133 comments

You can currently buy psychoactive mushrooms in stores in The Netherlands.

Buying mushrooms illegally from a legit dealer in the US means making sure they have several uniform bags of the product. You want to make sure they're grown safely in a lab or farm. There are too many people who will go out and just pick mushrooms, which is incredibly unsafe.

Unless you're an actual mycologist, it's difficult to tell what's safe and what's toxic. There are even cases of mushrooms in the US that are toxic look exactly like an edible food variety in Asia; even down to identifying characteristics like spore prints. Entire families have gotten sick or even died as a result.

So from just a safety perspective this would be a good move. Humans used psychoactive substances for centuries, usually under the supervision of a shaman or some type of religious figure to undergo a journey. It's not so different than psychologist today looking to use mushrooms to treat serious mental conditions. We have the advantage today of knowing we're not really going on some kind of cosmic journey, but merely acknowledging how dependent we are on our minds giving us our rational view of the world; and seeing how that can be easily and radically changed.

> Humans used psychoactive substances for centuries, usually under the supervision of a shaman or some type of religious figure to undergo a journey.

I don't have a position on legalizing psychoactive mushrooms, but I don't think this is a good argument.

For example, humans also used lead to sweeten wine for centuries, but that's not evidence that lead is harmless.


I'm sure we could come up with many more such examples.

Just to complete this line of reasoning -- the grandparent comment does not distinguish between good and bad effects of psychedelic mushrooms. It's easy (even reasonable) to skip over that distinction with mushrooms, because their bad effects are few and minor.

Mushrooms and leaded wine both have effects that their users long considered good. The difference between them, for purposes of this argument, is that for leaded wine we've since discovered very bad effects that completely outweigh the good effects, whereas for mushrooms we haven't.

> because their bad effects are few and minor.

I have issues with this. I've personally had very bad mushroom trips that have had effects that lingered for a year or longer. I'm not saying keep them illegal, but I don't for one second believe it's a black and white issue, either.

Not necessarily black and white, sure, but there is a threshold defined as the net personal/social benefit of the thing. If this is net positive, there's not enough reason to ban it. If there is net negative, there are reasons to ban it.

Further, the ban/not ban dichotomy is also fuzzier in practice. We can restrict access according to attributes of people, or restrict consumption to private settings, or otherwise. These decisions must be informed by the net benefit.

Disagree. Mushrooms that have had mold grow on them are pretty much guaranteed to make you sick and guarantee a bad experience. So it is possible to have objectively bad mushrooms in nearly the same way as you can have objectively bad wine.

Lead poisoning has permanent negative effects, mushrooms not so much.

Nobody is running about trying to purchase, at least for their own account, lead sweeteners on the black market. We know the risks, and we don't want it. With psychoactive substances, however, many people who know the risks still want it. It strikes me as absurd that inhibiting them should be a public matter.

you wouldn't allow drugs in traffic and you wouldn't want them in public. Alcohol use shows that not always is drug use constrained to private settings, so there is the argument against it, because what starts in private might under the influence end up in an inappropriate place.

Following that logic we must also ban sex, because some people don't constrain it to private settings and sometimes take it into public places that are inappropriate.

One thing after another, in order of death toll.

Alcohol is allowed so what exactly are you saying? When it was banned under prohibition in the US, it didnt change much either.

There will always be irresponsible people, however we shouldn't intrude on the freedoms of everyone for the faults of a few.

I was not strictly promoting prohibitive penalization, for one. My comment tried to clarify whether intoxication was res publique or purely private.

The fallacies in your conclusion are:

> freedoms of everyone

> faults of a few

Whether intoxication leads to freedom is debatable.

Secondly, casualties from alcohol abuse are hardly "a few".

You say people susceptible to the detrimental effects, perhaps from a preexisting tendency for lack of inhibition and aptitude are responsible. Whereas they are literally irresponsible. Further, your comment in response to my question could be understood to uphold the right to a buzz over thousands of deaths a year.

I think the comment above is understated. There is evidence that psychoactive compounds have been used since at least 3000BCE in Mesoamerica. Looking into it it seems lead was first mined around the same time in Greece but the lead sweetener idea wasn't popular until the roman empire. Note that there were reports even back then of health issues associated with the practice.


Do you have any other examples on the thousands of years timescale?

> There is evidence that psychoactive compounds have been used since at least 3000BCE in Mesoamerica. Looking into it it seems lead was first mined around the same time in Greece but the lead sweetener idea wasn't popular until the roman empire.

Well, the Wikipedia page says that lead was being used as a sweetener as late as the 1850s, and this page suggests that we have records of the practice going back to at least 160BCE, so "thousands of years" doesn't seem inaccurate?


> Do you have any other examples on the thousands of years timescale?

Off the top of my head, tobacco? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco#Traditional_use

Opium? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium#Ancient_use_.28pre-500_C...

Bloodletting? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodletting#In_the_ancient_wo...

I dunno, I'm not an anthropologist, but I'm not trying too hard...

We can take "safe" as meaning "gets you high, and doesn't kill you" not as "absent from all conceivable known and unknown long-term health effects". Also, "safe" can simply be taken to mean as "the sought-after mushroom, properly identified" (believed to the user to be safe) and not some other, unknown mushroom mistaken for it.

The risk of using the wrong item is separate from the risks inherent in the genuine item; in that context, it makes sense to use "safe" for the genuine item as a rhetoric device.

Of course, none of these mushrooms are safe; there are unsafe doses of their ingredient.

Nothing is safe without reference to dose; not water, not salt, ...

You can currently buy psychoactive mushrooms in stores in The Netherlands.

Unless something has changed within the last year, this is no longer the case (in Amsterdam at least). They do sell something called "Magic Truffles" but AFAIK they're no where near as potent.

It was possible to buy mushrooms there until a few years back but apparently it was putting stress on paramedics and police due to "drug tourists" having freak outs from performing a "trifecta", cannabis, ecstasy and shrooms in one weekend and having a little episode.

Correct, they have been outlawed since 2008. "Magic truffles" are not anywhere near as potent as were the mushrooms.


Magic Truffles is just a different name to circumvent the law. It's stupid, that this way the law can be circumvented, but it seems to be possible nevertheless.

It's not just a different name, it's a different species.

Is it actually a different species? I was under the impression a "truffle" was just a different part of the larger organism that also contains mushrooms.

> Apart from the visual appearance there is no difference between magic mushrooms and magic truffles. The so-called truffles are objectively no real truffle (as those belong to the genus Tuber), but sclerotia of psilocybe mushrooms growing below the ground. Therefore, they are nothing more than an underground part of the fungus and completely identical to the part above the ground, the so-called fruiting body, which we call the actual mushroom. Both contain the hallucinogenic molecules psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin, both are absolutely effective.

Mycologist here. Yes, they are different species. Your quote is partly correct in that 'magic truffles' (also known as philosopher's stones) are not real truffles. They are in fact sclerotia, a hardened 'resting stage' of the organism that protects against drought, and they are not a sexually reproductive part of the organism, unlike a true truffle or a mushroom. However it is incorrect in saying that apart from the visual appearance there is no difference, because there is a clear difference in biological function, and they are generally different species, at least as found in the commercial trade.

The species commonly sold and used as magic mushrooms (primarily Psilocybe cubensis) do not produce sclerotia. Conversely, the species that commonly produce sclerotia (Psilocybe mexicana amongst others - there's a lot of taxonomic uncertainty, partly because the mushrooms themselves are required for identification), although they can and do produce mushrooms, are never reported to be found being sold as mushrooms in commerce - only as sclerotia.

Further, there are consistently reported subjective differences in the experiences engendered by Psilocybe cubensis magic mushrooms and P. mexicana et al. sclerotia. Whether or not this is due to small differences in the profile of the various alkaloids, an as yet unidentified other psychoactive component, or simply psychological priming due to users being told they are different, we do not know.

You can still buy those growboxes though. Just-add-water mushrooms :)


> You can currently buy psychoactive mushrooms in stores in The Netherlands.

No you can't (anymore). They are illegal since 2008. I remember when they became illegal since me and my friends used to experiment with them, but a few unfortunate accidents/deaths involving tourists combining them with other (illegal) drugs lead to their prohibition. *

* https://www.drugsenuitgaan.nl/hulp-en-advies/veel-gestelde-v...

I remember when they were banned in the UK - wanted to try them that weekend (had tickets for Black Sabbath) but they couldn't be had at any money the last few days

Seems weird that some drugs and some countries are moving away from legalisation but it's got to be evidence based imo

> There are too many people who will go out and just pick mushrooms, which is incredibly unsafe

That's why decriminalization is beneficial: mycoligists can earn a living and others can get high safely. Governments banned psychoactive drugs because people got ideas like draft dodging, protesting against the Vietnam war and writing some of the best literature of that time.

Humans used psychoactive substances for centuries, usually under the supervision of a shaman or some type of religious figure to undergo a journey

Likely even longer; if you're curious about some of the anthropology and botany behind mind-altering substances, Wade Davis's One River is excellent: https://www.amazon.com/One-River-Wade-Davis/dp/0684834960?ie.... It focuses on the first half of the 20th C in particular.

As far as I know, it's impossible to know for sure when humans began using mind-altering substances like psychoactive mushroom, peyote, or ayahuasca, but it's likely been a very long time.


>> Entire families have gotten sick or even died as a result.

Happens in vancouver every few years. Always the same. Grandma arrives from china. She picks what she thinks are the same mushrooms she saw in china, puts them in the soup, and the entire family spends a night in hospital. Google "vancouver BC death cap mushroom".

"They’re (Death Cap) also mistaken for the Asian semi-tropical Paddy Straw Mushroom. That’s of particular risk to recent arrivals from Asia who may not be a aware that there’s a deadly look-alike to the Straw Mushroom."


> You can currently buy psychoactive mushrooms in stores in The Netherlands.

And maybe a less corrupt system (which allows for knowledge such as the following to persist) is the reason:


> There are too many people who will go out and just pick mushrooms, which is incredibly unsafe.

The ones grown outside can naturally protect themselves from potentially toxic bacterial infections, while the ones grown in jars can't. So in areas of the country (e.g. the mid-Atlantic region) with easy-to-identify psilocybin species, it's actually much safer to find them outside than to grow them. Yes it takes more work, but knowing how to identify the local plants/mushrooms/trees is also a basic part of being an adult.

To quote Gary Snyder's life advice, "Stay together, learn the flowers, go light."

An alternate perspective could be that California is lagging the other western states on legalization exactly because of overreaching campaigns that don't acknowledge the conservatism in the middle and south of the state.

A previous cannabis legalization effort in California, IIRC, proposed to make cannabis consumption a protected employment class.

> conservatism in the middle and south of the state

You don't even have to go to the middle or south of the state. Look at the current gnashing of teeth over marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco.

Wouldn't making it a protected class just be a roundabout way of making drug tests illegal? Are there any other side effects of doing this? Other than not being able to fire people for talking about how lit they got the night before, I suppose.

Talking about the night before is already protected in CA. You cannot take any action against an employee in CA for off duty conduct.

If a drug test result is positive you can certainly be fired for what may have been "off duty conduct" - ask any commercial pilot.

I thought California was lagging behind because their first try included a crazy monopolistic corporate giveaway to a handful of established companies.

That was Ohio, however, there was the belief that medical cannabis providers in California wanted to keep their control over the system where legalizing would have made things more restrictive.

Wasn't that Ohio?

Possibly, I don't really follow this stuff.

Yes it was.

Sensible Move - Magic Mushrooms are a truly wonderful very safe natural drug which does not harm others, like violence inducing Alcohol. Some suffer bad trips especially Women, but like a bad dream soon passes, with no harm done. One positive of the damp weather in Wales UK is abundant Magic Mushrooms in the Welsh Valleys in September to October. I took tens of thousands age 17 to 21 then grew out of them, fond memories though. The most I laughed in my entire life was watching Airplane on MM literally rolling on the floor creased up, Steve Martin films like the Jerk were also good on MM. Idiotic UK government made them an illegal Class I drug.

Citation needed on women suffering more "bad trips" than men.

While they're at it I really wish they would fix the laws around cacti. Federal law bans Lophophora williamsii specifically for obvious reasons, but California bans the entire genus as well. This is dumb because the other member of the genus (diffusa) won't get you high, and is a very pretty cactus, which is legal to own elsewhere in the US.

Both are vey slow growing. It can take 25+ years for a plant to be large enough to produce flowers. This has led impatient jerks go out and (illegally) field collect them to the point where both species are considered threatened. For that reason, I think their possession should be regulated everywhere.

So you want to make them more rare so that people have a strong incentive to harvest from the wild? If you legalize home growing you'll create a larger supply.

You should look at the history of Chestnut blight in the US. Due to the blight the US government directed people to chop down chestnut trees by the millions. If instead, they had allowed the blighted trees to continue to live, we may have discovered some genetic mutations that would have allowed the species to survive. Proactive regulation is not always the best move.

> So you want to make them more rare so that people have a strong incentive to harvest from the wild?

No. I think them being illegal to posses is working to reduce field collection. This strategy is used for many other endangered plants (such as orchids) and seems to work. If people want to use psychoactives, then "magic" mushroom and morning glory seeds (or Hawaiian wood rose seeds) have a much lower impact on the environment and people should be steered towards those options by making them legal (most already are; carrot) and coming down on anyone who illegally collects Lophophora with a prison sentence (stick).

> You should look at the history of Chestnut blight in the US.

First of all, the species is not extinct. In fact, if you live in Silicon Valley, there is a chestnut orchard with some American chestnut trees just a short drive away in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There are many other populations and ongoing work to try and breed resistant trees.

Second, trees were cut down to create a biological equivalent of a fire break. The idea was, if there was a gap of 10-20 miles in front of the advancing disease front where trees were removed, then it might be possible to contain the disease. In hindsight, this might seem like a overly drastic measure, especially since it ended up only delaying the spread and not stopping it completely, but based on what was known about the disease at the time, and the huge importance of the American chestnut as an economic resource, it was a risk people were willing to take.

> Proactive regulation is not always the best move.

Yes, but sometimes it actually is the best move. I believe it is in this case.

After this, I hope that legalizing home distilling is next on the docket. I know it'd still be illegal federally, but you're much less likely to have the ATF bust down your door if the state law enforcement isn't interested in it.

I hope they don't. It's much easier to kill yourself and others by home distilling than by taking shrooms.

Why, because fires? But people who are interested in home distilling are already doing it. I don't believe significantly more people would start distilling at home because it's pretty costly and it's much easier just to buy hard liquor. Admittedly, I don't know the numbers on how many fires are started by distilling every year. Regardless, you can legally distill for fuel purposes, which tells me that the government isn't terribly concerned about potential fires.

If you mean that people are going to go blind, well that doesn't happen unless you adulterate your own moonshine with industrial methanol, which would be idiotic. People don't get methanol poisoning from homemade alcohol; that's very hard to do when ethanol is a methanol antidote.

> I don't believe significantly more people would start distilling at home because it's pretty costly

what is costly here - water, sugar or yeast? or 4 typical cooking pots needed to perform actual distillation? (an old USSR way where non-government distillation was illegal, and thus you couldn't have at home any special hardware for distillation :)

>and it's much easier just to buy hard liquor.

completely agree. Back in the USSR it was done only because where was an issue with getting the liquor - not available and/or government would price it too high. (Because of tight availability and high price the hard liquor - a bottle of vodka - was basically "liquid money/gold" widely used as payment/barter for various services/goods.)

>If you mean that people are going to go blind, well that doesn't happen unless you adulterate your own moonshine with industrial methanol, which would be idiotic.

unfortunately happened a lot during the USSR "almost Prohibition" in the mid 198x. Methanol, insecticide, whatever other killer chemicals - just to increase the "kick" per given volume - really reminds the today's situation with added fentanyl in heroin in US. That craziness was pretty much gone once the "almost Prohibition" was lifted.

Once you've bought all those things – including the sugar, the water, the yeast, sanitation, the parts of the still – you already have spent enough money to buy several bottles of fine liquor from people who know what they're doing. It's not an economical solution if someone really just wants liquor. The same principle applies to beer making, which wasn't always legal without licensing, and most brewers are doing it for the art & science aspects of it. Since legalization of unlicensed brewing, we haven't seen everyone run out to buy tools to make their own beer.

Also, I'd never heard of that prohibition. It's pretty crazy how often history repeats itself in various ways.

The government shouldn't be in the business of protecting people from themselves.

I think it's more about protecting the distiller's neighbors.

Not at all? Never?

I think this is a sign of civilization advancing. More on the subject would be difficult to add without creating a throwaway account.

I share both sentiments expressed in this post...

I've had powerful, formative experiences that pushed me in new directions such that my values, viewpoints, and knowledge of the world were shaped in ways that feel increasingly significant as I grow older and pursue a fundamental understanding of the world around me. Much of this stems from endeavors that occurred entirely separately from any psychedelic experience, but I find it hard to imagine that I would have explored certain topics and ideas with the same enthusiasm, without those formative experiences.

A few of the topics that I'm referring to are the nature of consciousness and identity, theories of the mind, cognition, the structure and relations of ideas and concepts in the brain, and how such things change over time.

I believe it has also had other significant positive personal effects in terms of how I relate and empathize with others as well as process difficult personal issues, but this is harder to describe.

I don't think these effects happen automatically -- rather, psychedelics are a powerful tool that, with great care and responsibility, can likely be very beneficial for many individuals.

Like any powerful tool, it can be misused or abused, but as humans it is our job to make the most of the positive benefits while safeguarding and being responsible about the negative effects. I do think that many people today don't realize the extent of the positive benefits, and have an exaggerated view of the potential harms.

Ideally, society can carefully and judiciously integrate the positive benefits these substances provide, as we learn more about them in the coming decades.

I think this is great. Like many other things in life, when taken in moderation and responsibly, psychedelic drugs can be a great heap of fun!

I wonder if this could be the birth of the legal microdosing industry?

Microdosing is the homeopathy of psychedelics. Despite being a meme for years now there has been approximately one blind study, and that one done by an amateur, gwern:


tl;dr it's bogus. Lots of anecdotal reports of its efficacy though, but again, why don't these amateur recreational users blind their doses? They're prone to placebo otherwise.

It is very much not the homeopathy of psychedelics. Homeopathic medicine is where you dramatically dilute the medicine to the point where there's no appreciable amount of active medicine in the dose. There's some theory that the water molecules "remember" the medicine, or some such stupid bullshit. A microdose of psychedelics (for example, https://thethirdwave.co/microdosing-lsd-mushrooms/) is misnamed. It's about 1/10 of a normal trip (a decidose?) Enough to feel buzzed, not enough to blast off into outer space.

As a matter of fact, I took a microdose of shrooms an hour ago. I don't need to blind my dose, I can tell when I'm buzzed. I'm not arguing that it's noticeably improving my intelligence, performance, stamina, or anything, but it is most definitely making my afternoon more enjoyable.

> Homeopathic medicine is where you dramatically dilute the medicine to the point where there's no appreciable amount of active medicine in the dose.

That understates the ludicrousness of homeopathy. Homeopathy is dilution to the point where there is an extraordinarily low probability of even a single molecule of the active ingredient being in a dose, not merely no “appreciable” amount.

And, yes, this is very different from microdosing, in which the dose used definitely contains the drug of interest, just at much lower than typical recreational dosing.

Whether the latter has an appreciable drug related effects rather than placebo effects may be an open questio, but it's very different in nature from the former, which absolutely will not have such effects except due to massive fraud (i.e., not performing the stated dilution.)

> It is very much not the homeopathy of psychedelics. Homeopathic medicine is where you dramatically dilute the medicine to the point where there's no appreciable amount of active medicine in the dose.

That is exactly what microdosing is.

> A microdose of psychedelics [is] enough to feel buzzed

No it isn't. If you've taken enough to feel buzzed then you took too much, according to proponents of microdosing. Here is a quote from a sticky on Reddit's /r/microdosing:

> If you are feeling any changes that remind you even vaguely of tripping/being high, you've taken too much.

Then there's several distinct schools of thought on microdosing. Read the link I posted above.

Also from the comments on your link:

> DevO on October 15, 2017 at 12:31 am

> Niels, Micro-dosing is taking amounts too small to be psychoactive, but at the same time the substance still has effects that are beneficial in many different ways for different folks.

Here's a quote from from James Fadiman, the person who came up with the whole idea of microdosing in the first place: (at https://sites.google.com/view/microdosingpsychedelics/faq-on...)

> A dose that feels as if you are right at the edge of a psychedelic experience is too high.

As far as I can tell, there is one school of microdosing, and you're not in it. I wish you were right, because the whole idea of "sub-perceptual" doses is obviously bullshit, but I'm not seeing it.

The image in your link uses the term "sub-perceptual dose". How is that congruent with feeling a "buzz"? A sub-perceptual dose by definition is too weak to feel a buzz. If you could feel a buzz, it would be in your perception.

Just because there aren't studies on something does not mean it is not true. Science lags, and citizen scientists are left to explore and confer with each other to find what works and what does not. It is ignorant to ignore and belittle the progress in many fields that occurs before it is formally verified.

It's not just the lack of studies, although that doesn't help. Why don't amateur "psychonauts" just do these blind tests themselves? Clearly they have enough product to do it, but they won't. Gwern is pretty much the only one who bothered, and his results were negative.

I'm not ignoring and belittling the progress because of the lack of formal verification. I'm belittling it because even amateurs refuse to take the first step towards confirmation of effects.

A classic research paper illustrating your point:


Love this study, thanks for reminding me that there are no randomised controlled trials of people using parachutes when they jump out of planes. I guess everyone should stop using parachutes then...

Even 0.1 g of psilocybin mushrooms is enough for me to notice changes in consciousness / perception / bodily sesnsations. I and plenty others consider it a micro dose but it is definitely a sub-tripping dose (you need 1 or 2 g for that usually).

Granted, there is confusion over terminology here but _small amounts_ ie. sub-balls-to-the-walls-tripping-with-visuals of psychedelics can definitely be helpful and contribute to increased well being, concentration, problem solving, energy, mood, etc.

> can definitely be helpful and contribute to increased well being, concentration, problem solving, energy, mood, etc.

Why would nature not have us operate at peak efficiency with regards to problem solving, unless there was a side effect. I'm very interested in micro dosing, and nootropics, but I would have to think there is a downside.

Being (too) high 24/7 likely has downsides in the long term but as with any exercise it's possible you can improve your performance without downsides if you have adequate rest and recovery.

There are things that are not on by default within us humans. These came to mind quickly:

For example modulating your breath (deep slow breathing) can give your consciousness a boost or help induce relaxtion.

Meditation exercises or when you calm down to slow breathing and pay attention to sensations and thoughts has been shown to modify brain matter [0], and according to eastern scriptures and personal experience, increases awareness.

Touching the roof of your mouth with your tongue (taoist technique to connect the two main channels) has been shown to boost performance. [1]

Ymmv but long term daily use may contribute to increased sensitivity to emotions and have you be 'way out there, mayne' a bit too much. Not very scientific, I know.

[0]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/ [1]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940506/

The idea of a placebo effect for psychedelics is kind of amusing.

Microdosing is about sub-perceptual doses. You are not supposed to get any psychedelic effects at all. It is very much prone to the placebo effect. I find it really amusing that anyone thinks taking 1-5ug of LSD is going to do a damned thing.

The "placebo" used in some psychedelic experiments include niacin (creates this flush feeling) and methylphenidate.

The placebo effect exists for surgery.

How so? Isn't microdosing done with LSD?

The difference of effect of LSD and magic mushrooms is not very large.

Classic psychedelics have a lot in common, the differences are mere nuances.

Have you experienced this first hand? For me, mushrooms are either on or off. From what I know about LSD dosage (I haven't taken it) is that it's much more variable.

Do you mean that they either work or don't?

I mean the Psilocybin content can vary depending on how the mushroom grew and was stored and deteriorate over time.

Whereas with LSD, even when the tabs are weak, there is at least something on there, at least that'd be my explanation.

My experiences are several years in the past, so memory is hazy, but LSD always felt 'sharper' with fractal like infinite details on textures and the like. Mushrooms on the other hand felt more 'organic', but the head space was quite similar.

I tried microcoding with mushrooms once and I think the effects were similar as to what people are describing with LSD microcoding.

However the whole microcoding seems to edge between placebo and real response, almost by definition.

Microdosing can be done with any psychedelic. It doesn't do anything since microdosing itself is unscientific, but you can try!

Well it's unscientific because there are no scientific studies as it's illegal.

There is also no agreement as to what constitutes microcoding afaik.

There are scientific studies on illegal substances like, say, magic mushrooms. There are no scientific studies on microdosing because...well actually I don't know why, because they could do them if they wanted to.

I hope so.

This would actually make me want to live in California. Everyone should experience hallucinogens in the life, particularly magic mushrooms. It's truly a life changing experience, for the better. Some of the best nights of my young life were spent with friends, and mushrooms.

I'm in too!

I live in California and this is the first I've heard of this. Legal shrooms not happening this year or any other year soon, imho.

Asking as someone not living in the US. Are mushrooms common and generally seen as ok for consumption in California?

Which is good to hear, because currently it is one of a handful of states where ordering spores is illegal.

I mean I was pretty happy out here in the Midwest but you guys might pull me in with this one

As a Wisconsin transplant, how are you happy when you must shovel, and shovel, and shovel.

If I had stayed for one more winter I would have gone on a shovel-armed homicidal spree.

I dunno, I figure paying someone to shovel my driveway $25/pop all winter long is a whole lot cheaper than even a single month's rent increase I'd see moving to the bay area :)

Lots of great places outside of the Bay area. Northern CA for example!

Here in Indiana, I have a four-wheeler with a plow. I have one for my truck too, for when it gets really bad.

I mean I was pretty happy out here in San Francisco but you might pull me in with this one

Well, then, here’s some more: if you have some free time, you can make that truck pay for itself plowing parking lots. Lots of friends of mine with 4x4s did that when we lived in Indiana. Might not pay for the truck, but it was reported that it easily paid for the plow and hydraulics in one winter.

Yep, before I got the plows, we paid a guy $75 to come and plow our (long, winding) driveway every time it was bad enough to need it. It took him about 20 minutes and ours is just one of several that he'd hit every time. He also had contracts with several businesses to have their parking lots cleared.

I bet it’s really satisfying too, like those videos of people power-washing dirty sidewalks.

I've never owned a truck with a plow, but I've driven those owned by others. It is power-washing your sidewalk x10. To watch a giant pile of stuff that's in the way just disappear, and all at your hand: magical. Icing on the cake is when it's -20F outside and you're sitting in a warm truck cab with a cup of coffee, bending matter to your will. And there's a little something about knowing that the parking lot will be usable, and businesses can do business, because you showed up at 5:00 a. m. this morning.

I've also driven a tow truck in those conditions. Leaving your warm truck cab and cup of coffee to go hook up a car when it's -20F outside: not magical whatsoever.

I do this too in Alaska. I highly recommend this strategy to everyone.

So pay someone else to do it, it's not at all expensive. The going rate here is $10-$30 a storm for a city sized driveway/sidewalk or shoveling a car out.

Do neighborhood kids go door to door offering to shovel driveways for $ still?

Sometimes, but not like it used to be. I see plenty of adults with plows soliciting door to door too.

Usually I see kids soliciting through Facebook groups nowadays. Well, their parents do it for them.

Wow, I'm in my mid-twenties and I sound like my Grandpa.

I suppose my kids one day will go door to door renting out our family robot to move the snow.

If you live in the Midwest and have a driveway and paths you are responsible for, a snowblower is absolutely worth the investment.

Some places in the snow belt are so civilized the city plows your sidewalks and you just take care of the driveway. Easy peasy. No responsibility to the neighbors.

I think this is going to lead to a lot of unforeseen problems. Brick structures will be much more vulnerable once literally anyone can take one of these and become twice as large. And once you've had a mushroom, if you get the right kind of flower in your system you'd be an unstoppable fire-throwing menace. Then it doesn't matter what kind of gun control is on the books.

I just don't know what they're thinking.

Well how many times must this be explained?

One pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don't do anything at all...

I'd be on the lookout for a hookah-smoking caterpillar

I get that this is a joke, but the mushrooms that distort your sense of size are Amanita Muscaria, which are already legal in every state except Louisiana.

I was not aware that any species of hallucinogenic mushrooms can selectively distort your sense of size (ie. apart from the general distortion of all senses and perceptions with any hallucinogenic drug)

eating any kind of mushroom makes you larger, but only very slightly

Idk, there's a few with pretty strong laxative effects.

Yeah, you occasionally hear stories about people hurting themselves by trying to pole vault over a quarter or something because they thought it was the size of a fence. Or people being 'too small' to walk up the stairs.

>It is distinctly possible that California voters could be the first in the nation to decide

Your thinking might be more worldly than you realize. This--Nintendo--was banned in China until 2015.

Now take the cultural stigma of psychedelic use and place it on Nintendo. Is it now any less ridiculous that mushrooms are banned here?

'Tyranny over the individual' was never have a legitimate role of government in the first place.

While we're gaining some rights back (LGBT, prohibition), and losing others (privacy, free speech), maybe it's useful to connect these issues.

"While We're gaining some rights back (LGBT, prohibition), but losing others (privacy, free speech)."

I am hopeful that if the decriminalization and legalization of psychedelics continues, and if they ever become anywhere near as popular as they were in the 60's, they will usher in a renaissance of artistic creativity and positive social and political transformation.

It likely won't be a replay of the 60's, but it could still be very positive, as more people begin to see through the bullshit of the current social and political systems, and start to create positive alternatives.

That said, there could be and probably will be some backlashes and regressions as the media start to swarm like flies over sensational drug-related stories and phenomena, much like they did around psychedelic demagogues like Leary, Kesey and Manson (I hate to use Manson in the same sentence as the rest, but they all had a role in fomenting the anti-drug hysteria of the 60's and 70's).

We've been lucky so far that no such demagogues or scandals have emerged in recent years, but as drugs become more popular and socially accepted, I have no doubt that some psychedelic drug-related scandal or expose is going to outrage the public and there will be calls to make these drugs illegal once again.

Legalization advocates have tried to play it safe by pushing the medicinal benefits of these substances, and by running carefully conducted research studies, but once these drugs become more popular, you know that most people aren't going to be using them wisely or carefully, and some will be using them irresponsibly or even destructively.

>> a renaissance of artistic creativity and positive social and political transformation.

For all the art that occurred, there were some huge downsides. Getting high and communing with nature is all well and good, until a certain percentage start climbing the trees. We remember the pop songs can came from those times. We forget the broken bones and twisted ankles.

"We remember the pop songs can came from those times. We forget the broken bones and twisted ankles."

Yes, there certainly were many negative consequences of drug abuse during that era. They still continue, and I don't want to minimize that at all. It's critically important that we help people to use these substances constructively and knowledgeably, rather than ignorantly, irresponsibly, and destructively.

I do have some hope that it'll turn out better this time because the means of communication and distributing useful information is so much more effective these days than it was in the 60's and 70's. We now have the internet and resources like erowid to help, not to mention NGO's like Dance Safe that do drug testing at concerts. Much more could and should still be done, though, to make drug use safer and more constructive.

On the other hand, we shouldn't let the negative, destructive aspects of drug abuse blind us to the positive potential of constructive drug use. Many of the cultural, social, and political things we value today came from or were greatly influenced by psychedelics.

You talk about communing with nature -- yes, there's that, but that's not the empty, navel-gazing activity that many offhandedly discard it as. From communing with nature comes a higher regard and value of nature, the desire to be free from pollution, for eating healthy food, a greater concern with one's environment and a greater care for plants and animals. These are all positive things that we desperately need more of to counteract the forces within our society which are destroying the environment, polluting our food and water, and destroying bidiversity.

Such concern with the environment, which is relatively mainstream today, was considered kooky and weird in the 70's when it took root, and it was influenced by just such a "communing with nature" that psychedelics opened people up to.

That's just one, political example, where psychedelics had a positive effect on the world. Odds are that most of the music we listen to was greatly influenced by psychedelics and other drugs, as were many of the books we read and movies we watch. The internet and technology was influenced by psychedelics.

If we expand this to non-psychedelic drugs, the influence is even greater, as much of the history of the world is the history of humanity's encounter with plants and other substances which we would consider drugs. It's such a huge part of who we are, and the abject failure of prohibition shows that it's nearly impossible to deny access to these substances without massively negative social consequences -- ones I would argue that greatly outweigh the negative consequences of drug abuse itself.

>as more people being to see through the bullshit of the current social and political systems.

Do you think people are closer to being self-centered, profit-driven "rational agents" today than in the 60s?

And people might slip these mushrooms into strangers' food out of some misguided belief that "mind expansion" is a positive good, and that anyone who isn't taking hallucinogens is just closed-minded. Or slipping it into friends' food as a prank, because some people are assholes like that.

You got me

And don't get me started on poison mushrooms!

"Brick structures will be much more vulnerable once literally anyone can take one of these and become twice as large. And once you've had a mushroom, if you get the right kind of flower in your system you'd be an unstoppable fire-throwing menace."

I think you might be conflating the Super Mario series with your assessment of psychedelics...


Why Californians so obsessed with drugs? Any serious explanation?

They're not 'obsessed': criminalization doesn't work because of many, many reasons I will not repeat here.

I think that moving to legalise drugs (harmless or not) is the normal, rational decision to make and the fact that is receives so much push-back saddens me.

I would be curious to what lead you to your conclusion? The press is pretty bad at painting this picture as most articles I've seen try to tickle people's sensibilities rather than present objective facts.

But criminalization does work. Every time subject of criminalization comes up people cherry pick Portugal as some kind of miracle example completely ignoring Japan, Singapore, Georgia (country) Davao city, South Korea and countless others examples where strict laws (and their enforcement) almost completely eradicated drug abuse.

In the US you guys have incompetent people running the show and despite throwing enormous amounts of money you still get abysmal results. You can't be seriously talking that USA has honestly tried to deal with drugs when you have whole genre of stoner movies (Pineapple Express, etc) and when Snoop Dogg alone smokes weed like a chimney.

The incompetence in dealing with this is stunning. It's akin to homelessness problem in San Francisco. SF spends ~$30k per homeless per year and the problem only gets worse. Maybe, just maybe, those who are in charge are complete morons? At 30k per year you could rent everyone a room in a nice place. But currently it sure as hell doesn't look like homeless people have 30k worth of goods and services provided to them.

Snoop Dogg would be executed in Singapore. Do you think that's a real solution in the US? Is that what you want?

I'm not advocating any policy. I'm just against the echo chamber.

I'm saying that statement "criminalization doesn't work" is false. I foresee people saying "but we tried, and it didn't work for us" and immediately try to counter it by saying that you haven't actually tried at all. I'm saying that you have rigged your drug policy to fail.

Says the rest of the country that is currently drowning in oxycontin and heroin.

Because our insufferableness makes us very miserable people.

Because they're fun.

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