Canadian Senator and former Mayor of Vancouver Larry Campbell recently admitted that his lifetime struggle with depression suddenly eased up after his wife began secretly dosing him with psilocybin mushrooms.
Senator Campbell detailed his inadvertent brush with microdosing at the opening ceremony of the Catalyst Psychedelics Summit in Ontario last weekend. At the conference, the 74-year-old lawmaker explained that he has struggled with depression and PTSD for his whole life. Campbell told the audience that even though he was using prescription antidepressants to help ease his symptoms, he found himself getting grumpier and more depressed as he got older.
But at some point during the pandemic, Campbell said that his mood suddenly started to improve. When he eventually discussed this surprising shift with his wife, she revealed that she had been secretly “spiking his coffee with psilocybin” for weeks, according to Psychedelic Spotlight. The average American lawmaker may well have called the cops on their own wife at that point, but as a longtime advocate of drug reform, Campbell was happy to embrace the healing powers of psilocybin.
Dozens of clinical research studies have found that psilocybin can effectively treat depression, but most of these studies involved using full-strength doses of psilocybin in conjunction with therapy. The current body of research on the effects of microdosing is less conclusive, though, and some studies have found that microdosing is no more effective than a placebo. Campbell had no idea that he was being dosed with shrooms, though, which rules out the possibility of a placebo effect in this case.
The jury may be out on microdosing, but the overall research on psilocybin and depression is so convincing that the US and Canada are both working to legalize shroom therapy. In 2020, Canadian therapists petitioned Health Canada to demand the right to use psilocybin therapy to help treat terminally ill patients. Health officials eventually agreed to grant around four dozen patients the personal right to legally use psilocybin during their end-of-life care.
Last December, 17 specific therapists were even allowed to legally trip on shrooms themselves in order to help them work with patients more effectively. And that same month, Health Canada announced that doctors would eventually be allowed to prescribe MDMA, psilocybin, and other psychedelic medicines as part of its Special Access Program (SAP). This program allows physicians to prescribe experimental drugs for patients with serious life-threatening conditions.
The US is also experiencing its own psychedelic renaissance. Oregon legalized psilocybin-assisted therapy in 2020, and lawmakers in California and several other states have proposed bills to legalize or decriminalize shrooms and other psychedelic medicines. Denver, Oakland, Seattle, and several other cities have also decriminalized natural psychedelics, and the federal government has even signed off on clinical trials that could lead to the legalization of MDMA- and psilocybin-assisted therapy as soon as next year.