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You've got (drugs in the) mail!

Like it or not, microdosed mail-order mushrooms are here – it’s time for a real conversation about drugs.

Canadians can now purchase their psychedelic mushrooms by mail order, mostly thanks to pot activist Dana Larsen. It’s very similar to the process marijuana went through – though still illegal, the Vancouver Police Department has said they have bigger fish to fry.

Larsen said he thinks it’s “another idea whose time has come,” and that he plans to open a storefront in Vancouver soon.

To its supporters, microdosing mushrooms is reportedly beneficial for treating depression and PTSD. “Benefits can include reduced anxiety, reduced stress, improvement in sleep patterns, improvement in mood, reduced substance use, reduction in cluster headaches, reduction in migraine headaches, increase in focus, increase in creativity,” reads the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary website.

Capsules come in three strengths, 25mg, 50mg and 100mg, priced from $2.50 to $8.00 accordingly. They are colour coded red, purple and blue and Larsen’s site claims that the microdose levels are so low, they will not affect your ability to drive…with one major caveat: customers should not drive for four hours after consuming a capsule for the first few weeks while their bodies adjust.

Vancouver City Councilor – and vocal opponent – Melissa de Genova has put forward a motion calling for the City to research how they can stop the sales from this online shop. De Genova said she’s concerned about money laundering, bogus health claims, and that stopping the first shop from opening before there are other copycats could save the City policing and bylaw enforcement costs.

Interestingly enough, De Genova is also calling for the creation of a family-friendly Italian-style “piazza” – an outdoor space (not necessarily a restaurant) where liquor is served along with food. This could be seen as making alcohol – which is, inescapably, a drug – more accessible.

For his part, Larsen said he eventually hopes to have a space where people can come to have guided psychedelic mushrooms trips.

One might argue that ultimately, both De Genova and Larsen are advocating for similar things, although society is much more comfortable with alcohol. There’s fear that comes with psychedelics. While open sales may not be the answer – we need to have a broader conversation about the day-to-day realities of drug use in our society.

What happened with marijuana legalization was childish – we turned a blind eye to the illegal market and let it operate under the misleading “grey area” label. The push for legalization of more drugs is already here and building a strong campaign in the city.

It’s time we have open meetings, studies, and discussions about them so we can collectively make a rational, adult decision about how we want to move forward. Because as we learned with marijuana, if we ignore this one it’s sure not going to go away.

Ada Slivinski is the Founder & Principal of Jam PR, a boutique agency focused on helping small businesses get big exposure. You can reach her at [email protected]