"Magic Mushrooms" may hit the 2024 ballot in Massachusetts, potentially opening the door to an alternative treatment for people struggling with mental health issues.

The Massachusetts for Mental Health Options campaign in late 2023 filed with the state a petition of at least 74,000 voter signatures to get a measure for medicinal mushrooms, also known as psilocybin, on the ballot. It remains to be seen if it will end up there, as the state processes the signatures.

If something passes, Massachusetts would be in the company of states including Colorado and Oregon, which have enacted laws allowing some form of regulated use of psilocybin to treat conditions such as depression and PTSD.

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Studies have been done on the effects of magic mushrooms, including with cancer patients, and they seemed to reduce the anxiety and hopelessness that came along with the diagnosis.

Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston did a small trial with hospice patients that had some positive findings, too.

The idea of more widespread availability has supporters and skeptics. Some wonder if we know enough about mushrooms while others think it's about time we legalize use of something natural.

"I say yes," mushrooms should be legalized, Andrea Cordeiro of Westport said. "It has had therapeutic benefits in aiding some mental health conditions so why not? Much safer than some of these other things out there."

What do you think? Should we be able to access mushrooms, at least for medicinal purposes?

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