The Instigator
Pro (for)
11 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Legalize Shrooms in the US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/17/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,824 times Debate No: 61880
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)




Resolution: Psychedelic mushrooms should be legalalized in the United States

(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 fashion.
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.

(1) Acceptance
(2) Main Argument
(3) Rebuttal to opponent's main argument. No new arguments.
(4) 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
Legal - permissible under law to cultivate, transport, sell, and possess
United States - A federal republic in North America []

Burden of Proof:
I haz the burdens of proof! I can typing!

By accepting this debate you accept the rules, definitions, and BOP. Only people with at least 5 completed debates may accept.



I has the typing experice and teh internets.

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


What the heck are shrooms?
They are around 200 mushrooms that contain psilocybin and psilocin, psychedelic substances that alter consciousness. Why do people take them? For spiritual, religious, recreational, and medical purposes. What do they do? Shrooms change your perception of time, light, sound, and reality; you feel deeply connected to other people and forms of life; your ego and selfishness is suspended; you feel a profound range of emotions, while understanding yourself and the world in a fresh perspective. Why were they made illegal after thousands of years of profound use? Throughout the 1960's counter-culture movement the US government and media portrayed hippie drugs (e.g. shrooms and LSD) as dangerous and immoral, leading to their ban in 1968. No sufficient reason for the ban, but the closest guess is that “There is no money to be made with a non-patentable drug that is given only once or twice in a lifetime.” Yes, Big Pharma. Check out Big Pharma: How the World's Biggest Drug Companies Control Illness.

1. Shrooms are Safe
a. Toxicity
Shrooms are the second least toxic drug in most analyses, next to marijuana when taken orally. []. There is no direct lethality with shrooms, while legal pharmaceuticals and alcohol kill frequently. [4. ].
b. Addiction
Shrooms are the least addictive drug []. Furthermore, there is virtually no withdrawal syndrome when chronic use of this drug is ceased [How Drugs Influence Behavior 1996]. And even if the user wanted to take shrooms daily, he’d get diminishing effects as tolerance builds up immediately [].
c. Societal Cost
Unlike the well-known violence from alcohol, shrooms have negligible societal costs, as they reduce blood flow to the cingulate cortex, the region of the brain responsible for extreme thoughts or behavior []. Some researchers would argue, they offer a tremendous societal benefit: more open, less selfish, happier people [].
d. Psychosis
Shrooms can’t produce psychosis in mentally healthy people, but it can rarely elicit pre-existing (and subsided) psychological conditions, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, even though no physical harm is possible from psilocin []. These rare occurrences can be greatly reduced simply by each user evaluating his family’s mental health history. "After adjusting for other risk factors, lifetime use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline or peyote, or past year use of LSD, was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems or receiving mental health treatment.”
e. School
Users did not believe that psilocybin negatively impacts their academics, mental health, or physical health []
f. Overall Harm
When evaluated on 16 criteria (e.g. physical, psychological, social) shrooms was found to be the least dangerous drug in a recent study []. It's a double standard to argue against legalization, while alcohol remains legal.

2. Shrooms are Wonderful
a. Tripping
You get to experience the “other side of the coin.” [see Intro] “You are an observer experiencing something but you are not a human being who has a certain identity. You are pure agency capable of experiencing the true nature of the universe [].”
b. After-Effects
“The after-effects the research participants reported included feeling more patient, optimistic, inquisitive and being better able to engage with friends and family after their psychedelic experience, and the effects were still there more than a year later. All the volunteers in the studies at Hopkins seemed authentically connected to their deepest aspirations and purpose [above].”

3. Shrooms Have Medical Uses
a. Depression
Most people experience euphoria and positivity after a shroom trip (most likely due to psilocin’s closeness to seratonin--a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter). Additionally “Psilocybin decreases brain activity in regions such as the medial prefrontal cortex,” he explains, “that are overactive in depression [].”
b. Cluster headaches
In a 2006 study, half of cluster headache patients reported that psilocybin aborted the attacks, and most reported extended remission periods; similar results were reported for LSD [#.]. Here’s some footage for those of you unfamiliar with cluster headaches: [].
Researchers discover that psychedelic mushrooms can grow brain cells; erase conditioned fear response in mice [].
d. Mental Health
“Researchers found that lifetime use of psilocybin or mescaline and past year use of LSD were associated with lower rates of serious psychological distress [].”
e. Reducing Fear of Death
“Administering psilocybin to terminally ill subjects could be done safely while reducing the subjects’ anxiety and depression about their impending deaths [].”
f. Addiction Treatment
Shrooms has been proven to treat addictions to cigarettes and alcohol. “Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that magic mushrooms may be the best smoking cessation therapy available [].”

4. Logic and Morality of Legalization
a. Morality: Self-Ownership
The US government does not own the bodies of individuals. No one else alone or combined has a higher claim to your body than yourself. You own your own body, and as such you have the exclusive right to determine what goes in it: shrooms, kale, eye drops and all. Legalizing affirms this moral principle.
b. Logic: Peanuts
The argument Scare story X :. Ban Shrooms is a non sequitur. The deaths each year from peanuts (75-125 direct in US) greatly exceed shrooms (0 direct, 1-5 indirect), and there’s even a 0.6% incidence of peanut allergy in the US. Did the US ban peanuts? No, because millions of other people safely enjoy peanuts. The same holds true for shrooms: if millions of people safely enjoy them, one scare story of some guy with pre-existing psychological conditions jumping out of a window doesn’t change that.

5. Problems with Prohibition
a. Black Markets
Instead of education, research, and safety in the shroom industry, we’re left with buying the drugs from thugs without confidence of their quality, hunting them in the forest (associated with inadvertent mushroom poisoning), or risking everything we have growing them ourselves.
b. Enforcement Costs
Police officers, probation officers, courts, prisons, prisoners cost time and money, plus the loss of economic productivity from the arrested user.
c. Societal Costs
When a mushroom user/grower/seller/transporter is incarcerated a family loses a father, a business loses an employee, a man/woman loses their life, liberty, and property.
d. NAP
The non-aggression principle argues that it's immoral to initiate violence against someone who hasn’t done so. It is immoral for the US Gov to initiate violence against a man simply using shrooms, because he owns his own body and has not aggressed against anyone else.

Good luck Con!


Jedi: Dude, you cant argue for shroom legalazation in the US
Do you see any police around?
Then take so shrooms
*both do lots of drugs then make love to each other*

Mys main argument

Argumentum Ad Ianua

Legalzation of shrooms willl cause a shroom culture. People will become hippies and listen to the doors all day. Now, the doors aren't bad, one of their songs reminds me when it's time to turn out the lights because I'm always forgetting when to turn out the light and i never get to sleep. But a shroom culture will cause people to only listen to the doors and nothing else which will cause them to be hippies that sit around and do shrooms with pink floid on and we'll have the god damn 60s all over again. This scares the sh1t out of me and I dont even live in america.

Thems Ideas

Shrooms will cause your mind to open wide and cause new ideas to penatrate thru it (phrasing). This can prevent you from rationally thinking. Shrooms will make you believe tons of bullsh1t stuff like homeopathy and the existence of Ireland. You're screwing with your mind, and mushrooms aren't artifically intelligent, they are just some plant. They dont care about you they will just alter your mind. How can this not f*ck you up?

Thems gateways

Maybe shrooms once or twice won't f*ck your sh1t up it can cause your mind to expand so far you can belive other drugs are the sh1t which will cause your sh1t to get f*cked. Shrooms aren't drugs that will give yous the "awwww yiss" feeling. They are for spiritual insight and sh1t. Some peopls will want that "awwww yiss" feeling which will cause them to take up other drugs. Thems other drugs will f*ck up your sh1t.

Those are three arguments why it should be illegal in the USA. We must regulate it for the greater good "ALL: THE GREATER GOOD"

Hot Fuzz greater good gif Simon Pegg Imgur
Debate Round No. 2


I appreciate the fact that my opponent made some arguments, regardless of how ridiculous they may seem. Still pretty funny, as opposed to my previous shroom debate which had three consecutive forfeits O__O [].

Counter Argumentum Ad Ianua (argument to the doors)

This argument is a slippery slope fallacy. It essentially states that if shrooms were legal we'd end up with a culture that becomes a collection of hippies that do nothing else but listen to the Doors. Again, slippery slope. Current research shows that while the Doors may sound "wider" and "synesthetic," the trip itself has positive after effects that focus one's deepest purpose:

"After 14 months they still felt the after-effects of their trip,” MacLean told us in an interview. The after-effects the research participants reported included feeling more patient, optimistic, inquisitive and being better able to engage with friends and family after their psychedelic experience, and the effects were still there more than a year later.

The researchers didn't look at their subjects beyond 14 months but occasionally research participants would remain in contact with the researchers, and they reported continued positive changes in their lives. Some volunteers became interested in spiritual practices like meditation or artistic forms of expression after their exposure to the magic drug. One woman reported that she had begun writing poetry after her one-time encounter with the drug. “I don’t know why I am doing this, it just feels right,” she said. The way psilocybin made her feel could only be captured artistically. All the volunteers in the studies at Hopkins seemed authentically connected to their deepest aspirations and purpose. That connection apparently helped them engage in those special abilities that otherwise get covered up by daily hassles and responsibilities." []

Lastly, I demand evidence from the Con for this assertion that shrooms will lead to this type of society.

Counter Thems Ideas

Current research demonstrates the opposite, that shrooms stimulates the growth of new brain cells: "New studies from The University of South Florida indicate that psilocybin found in “shrooms”, triggers new brain cell growth, and erases frightening memories from mice. The studies showed that mice treated with low doses of psilocybin had significant growth of new brain cells, because the mushroom binds to a brain receptor that stimulates new brain cell growth, and short term memory formation. This interesting discovery has given more plausibility to the Stoned Ape Theory, Terence Mckenna’s suggestion that human evolution was initiated by the mind expanding benefits of psychedelic experiences."[] Check the video for more []. Further, mushrooms can improve psychological health over the long term: [].

Counter Thems Gateways

There is no evidence to suggest shrooms is a gateway drug. There is evidence that alcohol is though []. However, there is yet to be a reason FOR banning shrooms even if it were a gateway drug. Alcohol is proven to be a gateway drug, should we ban it? No. Because banning them disregards the non-aggression principle and self-ownership, an action deemed wholly immoral. It also causes black markets and lower quality.

Again, there is no evidence presented that this is the case, simply the assertion which is essentially another slippery slope fallacy (e.g. a dude tries shrooms, and then BAM he tries ALL THE DRUGS :D). This is patently absurd and is not supported by research. Further, even if it were it would not be sufficient warrant to ban shrooms.


Jedi4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Main Arguments Pro:
Shrooms are safe, non-toxic, non-addictive, mind-expanding drugs that should be legalized for reasons of public health, recreation, and morality.

Shrooms improve the well-being of individuals and the compassionate connectedness of groups for years after a single trip.

Shrooms are used to effectively treat depression, cluster headaches, PTSD, improving mental health, reducing fear of death in terminally ill patients, and treating addiction to cigarettes and alcohol.

It is immoral to violently prohibit the use of something that harms no one else, because to do so would be to claim a higher right to someone else's body than their own. Now every drug has risks, for shrooms it is rarely eliciting dormant psychological problems; however, we don't ban peanuts because 0.6% of people are allergic; we don't ban cars because 40,000 people are killed per year in them (in the US alone).

We realize life itself is dangerous, each activity with its own risks, and we don't treat people like child slaves, using paternalism to take away their right to choose for themselves. Banning shrooms produces black markets, which allows for lower quality mushrooms and more dangerous purchasing a reality.

Enforcing a ban has a large financial and personal costs on society. Finally to reiterate, it is immoral to initiate violence against peaceful people for choosing to put a beneficial fungi in their bodies.

Main Arguments Con:
Con argued that shrooms will make people lazy (an assertion without any proof provided), which I demonstrated is false, while the opposite is true.

Con argued that shrooms will alter your mind, rendering you incapable of rational thinking (another assertion without warrant). This is demonstrably false when you look at the current research: shrooms stimulate the growth of new brain cells and improve short term memory. Further, mushrooms can improve psychological health over the long term.

Con argued that shrooms are a sort of gateway drug. This is another assertion without proof. There is proof that alcohol is a gateway drug while it is legal, leading to a double standard. Even if mushrooms were a gateway drug, this would not be sufficient reason to ban it, as doing so violates the non-aggression principle and self-ownership.

Voting Issues
Vote pro on arguments for substantive argumentation; spelling and grammar for obvious reasons; sources because I used sources; and conduct because I did not forfeit.


Jedi4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 3 years ago
Fvck! I accept full responsibility.
Posted by Jedi4 3 years ago
Sheeeeeeeeeeeet. I was on shrooms the past few and forgots about the debate. Sooooo rly WSA is to blame
Posted by Garsot 3 years ago
They should not be legalized because once something like that becomes part of the legal system it can then be controlled by governments and corporations as to who gets access to them and how available they are. My proof of this is alcohol and tobacco. They made it illegal for people to grow tobacco or make their own alcohol. What should happen is they should make it illegal for law enforcement or other state or government institutions to stop others from having access and ingesting them. Take the object's legality out of the equation.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO's arguments that shrooms are relatively safe were pretty persuasive, although I'm not sure that they're always wonderful. Even still, the argument he made about problems with keeping them (shrooms) illegal was his most compelling point. Jedi forfeited, which is not surprising. Good job, WSA.
Vote Placed by Relativist 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Ff.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture