Magic mushrooms should be legalised to help stave off the UK’s looming mental health crisis, a top police boss says.
Arfon Jones is calling for a 49-year ban on psilocybin to be overturned with it reclassified as “a potentially revolutionary medicine” that could save the NHS billions.
Psilocybin is the key component of the class A drug The Beatles dabbled with in the 1960s and which generations of revellers have used to go on “trips”.
It has been illegal to take magic mushrooms, which produce a hallucinogenic effect like LSD, since 1971.
But Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Jones says a rethink on psilocybin would mean it could be used for clinical trials to help treat PTSD and depression.
The North Wales police leader has written to MPs urging them to support his campaign, especially with the coronavirus pandemic making many mental health conditions worse through social isolation and work-related stress.
The ex-cop said: “New research from scientists clearly shows psilocybin has been wrongly class-ified as being harmful.
“There has been a research blackout for nearly 50 years into the beneficial effect it can have.”
His call comes as the Adam Smith Institute think-tank and the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group call for a psilocybin rethink.
But other experts say the greatest harm associated with magic mushrooms is picking the wrong type, as many other mushrooms growing in the wild are toxic.