God's Medicine

The latest installment of the ground-breaking study on the effects of psilocybin, aka magic mushrooms, brings more interesting news:

The experiment was funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The results were published online Tuesday by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Fourteen months after taking the drug, 64 percent of the volunteers said they still felt at least a moderate increase in well-being or life satisfaction, in terms of things like feeling more creative, self-confident, flexible and optimistic. And 61 percent reported at least a moderate behavior change in what they considered positive ways.

That second question didn't ask for details, but elsewhere the questionnaire answers indicated lasting gains in traits like being more sensitive, tolerant, loving and compassionate.

And yet this completely non-toxic naturally occurring substance is still illegal in the US. We don't know whether psilocybin could be integrated into existing mental health treatments, or simply become a recreational spiritual resource for responsible adults.