Arizona Legislature is lying to us (again) about magic mushrooms (2024)

“Everybody must get stoned.”

— Bob Dylan

One of my favorite developments from the dawn of “medical” marijuana and those years of lying copiously, was this:

Young men of roughly college-age in Arizona were among the most eager users of the product.

Understand, we had legalized medical pot in 2010 because it was the magic balm that would relieve our rheumatoid arthritis and restore our aching backs.

But when the product started to move, we learned to our great shock that it wasn’t just the grannies in Sun City who needed the cure, but our young men in college frat houses, who were suffering from an appalling outbreak of old-age symptoms.

Or not.

The big marijuana lie is a big bonanza

Maybe they just found a new way to get high.

Or maybe they just found out we were all lying about medical marijuana.

Which we were.

What a whopper that was.

Today marijuana is not just “medical” in Arizona. It’s recreational. And anyone 21 and older can huff weed with abandon.

Last year, we surpassed $1 billion in marijuana sales since the launch in January 2021, when we upgraded our cannabis from “medical” to “party.”

That was always the point of “medical” marijuana.

Get rich and get stoned.

Magic mushrooms have bipartisan support

While cannabis proved in high demand to treat the geriatric aches and pains of college frat boys, tragically, it was not the right pill to cure some of the problems associated with mental illness.

For that there is no magic weed. Only magic mushrooms.

And at the moment, they’re illegal.

Fortunately, Republican State Sen. T.J. Shope has come to the rescue with his Senate Bill 1570 to legalize the medical use of psychedelic mushrooms.

This is not a political football. Arizona Republicans and Democrats are receptive to legalizing street drugs.

Last week a bipartisan group of Arizona senators voted to advance SB 1570 to the full Senate. If it ultimately passes and is signed into law, it would legalize psychedelic mushrooms for “mental health treatment.”

GoDaddy founder claims no 'downsides'

If you previously thoughtpsychedelic mushrooms were good for just one thing and that one thing was roller skating on the rings of Saturn while tossing pixie dust at flying monkeys, you now know you were wrong.

They actually help relieve post-traumatic stress disorder and other maladies of the mind.

We know this from no less a medical luminary, no less an authority on the neurosciences, than Bob Parsons, the billionaire founder

Parsons was the first tech impresario to discover you could use sex to sell internet domain names, employing commercials with lots of G-strings and H cups (think Hindenburg).

He testified to a Senate panel that magic mushrooms helped him deal with the mental scars from military service in Vietnam.

Arizona should have never: Legalized recreational marijuana

As reported by The Arizona Republic’s Ray Stern, Parsons told the panel he took a three-day trip to Hawaii to experiment in clinically controlled settings with different psychedelic drugs, including LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca.

So delighted was he with the results, Parsons immediately donated a million dollars to psychedelic research. “The change is remarkable and the downsides, none,” he said.

The science is, shall we say, limited

There are, indeed, studies that show magic mushrooms can have medical benefits. But they are few, and the science on this issue is about as well developed as Death Valley. The safety data on psychedelics is scarce, reports The New York Times.

The same is true with marijuana. We had no real understanding of the health benefits or risks of cannabis when we legalized it for medicinal and hallucinogenic purposes.

We still don’t, given the limitations of research to date.

When public health officials weighed in on magic mushrooms at the Legislature, they pointed to the promising benefits of the drug, but they also pointed to the promising business outlook, Stern reported.

Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, said SB 1570 seems like a first step in creating a larger industry for the future, Stern wrote.

Humble explained that once Arizonans grow comfortable with clinical use, another law could decriminalize the mushrooms.

“I think it’s building a path to making this part of the fabric of Arizona,” testified Humble.

The fabric of Arizona? Any guess what that is?

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Phil Boas is a columnist with The Arizona Republic. Email him at

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Magic mushrooms are 'medicine' for Arizona? Tell us another lie

Arizona Legislature is lying to us (again) about magic mushrooms (2024)
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