First the legalisation of cannabis, and now this: Thailand is looking into easing restrictions and backing progress on developing psilocybin mushrooms. You may know them as ‘magic mushrooms.’
In a press conference last month, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin put forward a push towards easing laws around psilocybin mushrooms in an effort to boost the Thai economy, and research the use of ‘magic mushrooms’ to treat various mental health issues.
[Hero and Featured Image Credit: Phoenix Han/Unsplash]
Thailand looks to easing laws around magic mushrooms
Following the recent removal of cannabis and kratom from higher narcotics category listings, Thailand is seen as rather progressive with its drug laws as compared to the rest of the region.
Currently, psilocybin mushrooms are listed as a Category 5 narcotic, and its removal from this category would open the pathways to further research the plant. This interest follows a current trend in which large international pharmaceutical corporations too are looking into the benefits of using ‘shrooms for medicinal purposes. In particular, psilocybin-based therapeutics can ease anxiety, headaches, and various other mental health concerns, as well as help those with anorexia, OCD, and even drug addiction.
Certainly a step forward in the development of alternative medicines in Thailand, it would also cast a spotlight on the oft brushed-under-the-rug mental health subjects in the country.
However, unlike cannabis and kratom, the movement is not to legalise magic mushrooms for recreational use, as these may still remain dangerous in this realm. Currently, selling magic mushrooms can lead to 15 years jail time and high fines for sellers, as well as one year jail time and a THB 20,000 fine for users. The legalisation for medicinal purposes would mean that Thai farmers could legally farm the mushrooms.
Research is underway by the Thai Narcotics Board to explore the topic further.