Dana Larsen: Vancouver council to hear from public on medical mushroom access

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      Nine weeks ago, I launched an online "microdose mushroom dispensary". We're providing tiny doses of psilocybe mushrooms for therapeutic purposes to people with a documented medical need.

      Right now it's online mail-order only, but I told the media that I planned on opening a Vancouver storefront for microdoses in the coming months.

      Coun. Melissa De Genova, who has made a name for herself with previous efforts to close all the city's cannabis dispensaries and her demands that the city sue every contractor involved with 4/20, has put forward a motion to prevent a microdose dispensary in Vancouver.

      You can read her motion at this link. Bizarrely, it includes references to Mexican drug cartels and concerns that psilocybe will be injected. It's going to be debated at Vancouver City Hall on Wednesday (September 11) at 3 p.m.

      Vancouver city council says it unanimously supports destigmatizing drug users and creating a "safer drug supply". Yet this motion is calling to shut down anyone trying to provide a safer drug supply, not just mushroom microdoses.

      The B.C. Centre on Substance Use has been calling for a "compassion club" style heroin dispensary, to provide a safer supply and prevent overdoses. The mayor has said he supports this idea. City hall should be finding ways to work with activists who are already creating these kinds of safer supply solutions.

      I would like to see De Genova's motion amended, to include the idea that the city should work with and support local activists trying to create a safer drug supply.

      Vancouver put bylaws in place around medical cannabis dispensaries long before legalization. It has the same power to regulate and support mushroom dispensaries or even heroin dispensaries if it chooses to.

      If you'd like to speak in person at the city council meeting at 3 p.m. on Sept 11, click here to sign up. (It's item #5.)

      If you'd like to send a written message to city councillors in support of dispensaries creating safe supply, you can click here to do so.

      I believe that the only way to get a safer drug supply is if we create it ourselves.

      I hope that city council will work with the Vancouver drug-using and activist community, and not against us.

      Dana Larsen is an author, advocate, and activist for cannabis and drug policy reform.

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