Kevin Drum, of Mother Jones, reports on a study conducted by the esteemed researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that purports to demonstrate the positive, long-term personal and social effects of psilocybin mushrooms:

psilocybin produces not only mystical experiences, but joy, happiness, and positive social effects. And it does it for a long time: in followup interviews 14 months after the study was completed, nearly all the subjects still reported positive changes in their lives, especially if they received their psilocybin in increasing dosages. (Half the study volunteers got the highest dose first and worked down, and half started with the lowest does and worked up. All volunteers also got a placebo tossed in at some point.) [. . .]

These effects were confirmed by interviews with friends of the volunteers who had been recruited to provide periodic feedback to the research team.

[. . .]

So there you have it: a genuine mystical experience with long-lasting positive effects, no reported negative effects, no known medical side effects in healthy people, and with virtually no chance of a bad experience. Does that sound like something you’d like to try? Well, you can’t: no matter how safe and beneficial it might be, psilocybin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and you can’t have any. You may thank the War on Drugs whenever you like.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, a preponderance of the participants report an increased awareness of, and openness to, the spiritual and the sacred.

Read the article in full here.