Instigator / Pro

🍄🤯🍄Legalize Shrooms 🍄🤯🍄


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 6 votes and with 27 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

Resolution: Psychedelic mushrooms should be legalized in the USA

(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent way with labeled arguments (e.g. Evolutionary Argument)
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering. Keep the focus on argumentation, not tricks

(1) Main Arguments
(2) Rebuttal to opponent's main argument. No new arguments
(3) Evaluation of main arguments and rebuttals + Voting Issues (one paragraph). No new arguments

Psychedelic mushrooms - mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin, most commonly in the genus psilocybe
Legalized - made permissible under law to cultivate, transport, sell, and possess
USA - The United States of America is the country in North America that consists of fifty states and the District of Columbia

Burden of Proof:
Shared Burden of Proof (BOP)
Pro must prove why shrooms should be legalized and Con must prove why shrooms should be kept illegal.

By accepting this debate you accept the rules, definitions, and BOP. And the judges will hold you to them.

Round 1
The legality of possessing, taking, growing or selling magic mushrooms greatly depends upon where you live. In the United States, psilocybin is a Schedule I drug under an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act called the Psychotropic Substances Act. This means that it has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use and isn't safe for use even under a doctor's supervision. Since psilocybin is a psychotropic substance in magic mushrooms, this is usually interpreted to mean that the mushrooms themselves are illegal. However, since mushroom spores don't contain psilocybin, some have pointed to this as an ambiguity in the federal law.

Usually busts related to magic mushrooms occur under state law (unless they're in extremely large amounts) and most states ban possession of them. As of February 2009, Florida is the sole exception when it comes to fresh wild mushrooms -- essentially, the law reasons that since mushrooms grow wild, it's possible for people to pick magic ones accidentally and be in possession of small amounts of without prosecution. In California, Georgia and Idaho, it's illegal to possess magic mushrooms in any stage, including spores. In addition, many states have prosecuted for anything related to mushrooms or growing them under laws related to drug paraphernalia and intent to sell.
Shanna Freeman "How Magic Mushrooms Work" 25 February 2009.

Is Psilocybin Harmful?
Psilocybin is a compound that is naturally produced by more than 100 species of mushrooms 1. When one ingests one of these mushrooms, it is converted into a substance known as psilocin, which produces mind-altering effects similar to drugs such as mescaline and LSD 1. Psilocybin is classified as a hallucinogenic or psychedelic drug. While there appear to be no known recorded fatal overdoses from psilocybin alone, there are some risks associated with using the drug that include:

  • Impaired judgment and feelings of detachment while one is under the influence of psilocybin 1,2,3.
  • The development of anxiety or panic attacks as a result of psilocybin-related experiences 1,2,4.
  • The experience of having “a bad trip” or unpleasant reaction to hallucinogenic effects 1,2.
  • The potential for poisoning and death as a result of consuming the wrong type of mushroom2.
  • Flashbacks, which are reoccurrences of psilocybin experiences long after use 2,4. Consistent and impairing flashbacks are a condition known as hallucinogenic-induced persistent perceptual disorder 2,5. These experiences can be quite distressing and interfere with daily functioning.
  • Persistent psychosis can occur in psilocybin users. This condition may manifest with a number of mental symptoms, such as paranoia, volatile mood, disorganized thought patterns, and visual disturbances 2.

Bizarre public behaviors resulting from psilocybin intoxication may lead to legal problems 2.

Long-Term Effects of Abusing Psilocybin
The long-term effects associated with psilocybin use are not well defined 2. Many sources suggest that there are few, if any, detrimental long-term effects associated with psilocybin usage 4,6. However, there are instances of reported cases of the individuals displaying a hallucinogenic-induced persistent perception disorder 4. This is a clinical disorder that occurs in a small number of individuals who use hallucinogens (about 4.2% 5). This disorder is commonly referred to as having “flashbacks” by users of hallucinogenic drugs. Essentially, the person re-experiences being on psilocybin despite not using the drug for quite some time. This can be distressing and may be misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, stroke, brain tumors, or head trauma 5.

Little is known about what causes this disorder, but it appears that the disorder is more likely to occur in individuals who 5:

  • Have chronically used hallucinogens, such as psilocybin, in the past.
  • Have used other drugs with psilocybin, such as alcohol, marijuana, or other hallucinogens.
  • Have a history of experiencing “bad trips.”
  • May have a co-occurring mental disorder, such as a panic disorder or major depressive disorder.

- References (from that source referred to in that source):
  1. Laing, R. R. (2003). Hallucinogens: a forensic drug handbook. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Drug facts: hallucinogens.
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Hallucinogens.
  4. van Amsterdam, J., Opperhuizen, A., & van den Brink, W. (2011). Harm potential of magic mushroom use: a review. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 59(3), 423-429.
  5. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders – fifth edition. Washington DC: Author.
  6. Hasler, F., Grimberg, U., Benz, M. A., Huber, T., & Vollenweider, F. X. (2004). Acute psychological and physiological effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a double-blind, placebo-controlled dose–effect study. Psychopharmacology,172(2), 145-156.
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction: The Basics.
  8. Hatfield, R. C. (2013). The everything guide to the human brain. Avon, MA: Adams Publishing.

Physical Harm from Psychedelic Mushrooms
Most of psilocybin’s physical effects are short-term, but in people with pre-existing conditions, these effects may become harmful. Short-term effects include:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid, abnormal, slight, or irregular breathing
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Shaking
  • Poor coordination
Changes to heart rate and blood pressure can trigger heart attacks, strokes, or pulmonary embolisms in people who have underlying heart conditions. If a person abuses psilocybin or psilocin mushrooms often enough, they may cause a heart problem that did not exist before. Other drugs, like cocaine or amphetamines, can induce heart damage because they also increase heartbeat and blood pressure, and when they’re frequently abused, these changes can cause heart failure.

Breathing changes from magic mushrooms may also lead to lung failure. If a person survives this, oxygen deprivation may cause lasting brain or muscle damage, requiring lifestyle changes due to a new disability.

Changes to judgment, understanding of reality, muscle control, and physical coordination can all cause a person to suffer a harmful accident. Brain trauma, broken bones, or damage to other organs of the body can lead to permanent disability.

One long-lasting physical effect from abusing magic mushrooms is cross-tolerance. These drugs work on the brain in the same way as some other psychedelic drugs, including LSD and marijuana, so someone who abuses a lot of shrooms will experience a high tolerance to related substances. It is possible that other drugs may be associated with cross-tolerance, like anesthesia, which could make future medical care complicated.

There are few anecdotal reports suggesting that shrooms are addictive or lead to physical dependence. The tolerance to several related substances may lead to future issues with substance abuse or pharmacological treatments for mental or physical disorders.

The Psychological Impact of Psychedelic Mushrooms
The main effects of shrooms are psychological, often associated with literally expanding consciousness. However, the dramatic changes to brain state and neuron interactions can trigger long-lasting and even chronic effects. One of the most frightening effects is intense panic and paranoia. People who abuse mushrooms may experience a panic attack, feel like they are being watched, or have a break from reality that leads them to display psychotic symptoms. They may harm themselves or others with violent outbursts. They may end up in the hospital with lasting damage from accidental harm during a psychotic episode.

Psychosis induced by psilocybin is very similar to symptoms of schizophrenia, and someone who is at risk for developing schizophrenia may trigger this mental condition by abusing psychedelic drugs. The intense changes to brain chemistry may make some conditions like anxiety or bipolar disorders worse; however, magic mushrooms have been associated, in some very small medical studies, with reduced depression. Persistent psychosis is characterized by:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Mood changes
  • Paranoia
Like other hallucinogens, especially LSD, shrooms can cause flashbacks, even after one use. Flashbacks may be mild experiences, including changing lights or colors, or they could involve intense panic, dissociation, and even hallucinations. While they last only a minute or two, they can be very disruptive.

Even though mushrooms have been tagged as a potential cure for depression, the changes to brain chemistry can trigger depression or make it worse for some people. Evidence for both relieved and worsened depression is largely anecdotal. Changes to judgment, learning, and memory can make people feel bad about themselves and their changed abilities, and this lowered self-esteem may be associated with increased depression.

The Progression of Chronic Health Effects from Psychedelic Mushrooms
Changes to the body occur slowly without an underlying health condition. Exposure to substances that cause high blood pressure over time will lead to chronic high blood pressure, for example. However, this can take months or even years to induce.

Mental state changes, however, may occur after just one instance of abusing magic mushrooms, or they may never occur. The emotional and psychological changes associated with psilocybin are unpredictable, which is part of what makes this drug dangerous.

Round 2
Watch and learn (not saying it's me, but just watch and learn): Katevolved Katarina Montage - Best of Katevolved - NA Challenger Katarina

I will post in R2 to make clear.
Round 3
that's it.