Fourteen months after receiving a single dose of psilocybin in a Johns Hopkins University laboratory, more than six out of ten of the participants report lasting benefit in the form of an increased sense of well-being and improved behavior. Two-thirds recall the experience as one of the five most meaningful in their entire lives.
(1) A good chance of experiencing a full-blown mystical experience is available for a few hours’ preparation and a day’s supervised exposure to the active agent in mushrooms that grow wild in many parts of the country; and
(2) Having such an experience has a good chance of generating lasting benefits and
(3) supervised exposure by screened participants is physically and psychologically safe;
then the case for keeping that process illicit by forbidding possession of the mushrooms seems hard to make out. And making what is undoubtedly a religious experience unavailable by law does not seem to fit well with either the Free Exercise Clause or the international human-rights treaties.
Links to the follow-up and the original paper are available on the website of the Council on Spiritual Practices. The same research team is now recruiting volunteers for a study of whether such experiences can relieve anxiety in cancer patients.