A group of magic mushroom advocates ascended on Parliament Hill today to protest the strict and questionable policies surrounding psilocybin access for medical purposes.
The delegation of patients and medical professionals from across the country who arrived in the capital city on Monday are being led by TheraPsil, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting fair access to psilocybin-assisted therapy in the country.
In addition to meeting with government officials and protesting, the participants from the psychedelic delegation will be taking part in media interviews and engaging in public events over the next three days to promote awareness about the medicinal value of psilocybin and the need for a more transparent regulatory approach to facilitate medical access going forward.
A gofundme campaign for the protest was created by Spencer Hawkswell, CEO of TheraPsil; and John Gilchrist, Communications & Training Specialist for the non-profit. So far the fundraiser has generated $5,400 since it began on November 15.
The fundraiser received substantial donations from Filament Health Corp (OTCQB: FLHLF) (NEO: FH) (FSE: 7QS), Conscious Mind Clinic, Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE AMERICAN: CYBN), Apex Labs and many others.
They seek compassionate access to medical psilocybin, and only the Ministers can grant it to them.
So far the Ministers are ignoring patients
— SpencerHawkswell (@SpencerHawkswe1) November 28, 2022
Hawkswell said in a statement that there is ample evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of psilocybin for the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions.
“The previous Minister recognized this and started approving exemptions. Unfortunately, this Minister has stopped and refused to consider reasonable regulations to ensure vulnerable Canadians don’t have to go to Court to access treatment that can improve their quality of life and death,” added Hawkswell.
TheraPsil has supported Thomas Hartle, a cancer patient who was the first Canadian to be granted special access to psilocybin to help treat end-of-life anxiety. His application for the natural drug was approved by Minister Patty Hajdu in 2020 and his initial treatments were quite successful.
However, upon re-applying for access to more psilocybin through a section 56 exemption from the government in October 2021, his application was rejected by the new Health Minister, Jean Yves Duclos.
Hartle stated that Health Canada was lacking compassion for those in dire need of the medicine and wrongly denying access to people who are suffering.
“It is cruel to withhold medicine from vulnerable patients, especially when those medicines have worked for them,” said Dr. Valorie Masuda, a palliative care physician at Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan, BC.
A full schedule of the group’s activities over the next three days can be found here.