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4-ACO Killed the Psilocybe Star: The Economic Divide in Entheogenic Treatment

By Rev

The recent steps taken by Tucson, Arizona, to legalize psilocybin mushrooms mark a significant moment in the evolving relationship between society and entheogenic substances. This legislation was introduced with the hope of unlocking the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, making them accessible and safe for those in need. However, the aftermath of this decision reveals a complex narrative that underscores a growing concern: the economic divide in entheogenic therapy that pushes marginalized communities toward self-dosing with inferior and cheaper products.

The Rise of 4-ACO-DMT and the Economic Implications

Following the legalization, an unexpected shift occurred within the illicit market. The focus turned sharply towards 4-ACO-DMT, a synthetic compound that mimics the effects of psilocybin but is significantly cheaper to produce. The cost disparity is stark: 4-ACO-DMT can be manufactured for approximately two cents per milligram, compared to the 40 cents per milligram cost of producing mushroom extract. This price difference is not trivial when scaled across the supply chain, resulting in a scenario where a 35mg 4-ACO-DMT chocolate bar can be retailed at $20, boasting a 90% profit margin, while a 3.5g organic psilocybin bar sells for $25, often at a loss.

The Unintended Consequences of Legalization

The legalization aimed to dismantle the illicit market by providing a regulated pathway for psilocybin access. However, it inadvertently contributed to the proliferation of synthetic alternatives like 4-ACO-DMT, manufactured in underground labs without regulation or oversight. This shift has not only saturated the market with potentially unsafe products but has also introduced a significant economic barrier to accessing regulated, potentially therapeutic entheogens.

Marginalized Communities at the Crossroads

The crux of the issue lies in the accessibility and affordability of entheogenic therapy. In states like Oregon, clinical treatments involving psilocybin can cost around $3,500 on average, a price point far beyond the reach of many, especially marginalized communities. Faced with such financial barriers, these individuals might opt for self-dosing with products like 4-ACO-DMT, which, despite their lower cost, come with higher risks and unknown long-term effects.

Reevaluating the Impact of Legalization

The scenario unfolding in Tucson serves as a potent reminder of the complexities surrounding the legalization of entheogenic substances. While the goal of providing safe and regulated access to psilocybin mushrooms is commendable, the reality has highlighted significant shortcomings, particularly the economic divide that it exacerbates. This divide not only marginalizes those who could potentially benefit the most from therapeutic psilocybin but also steers them toward riskier alternatives.

Moving Forward: A Call for Inclusive Policies

The experiences from Tucson call for a reevaluation of how entheogenic substances are legalized and regulated. To truly harness the therapeutic potential of entheogenic like psilocybin, legislation and policies must be designed with inclusivity at their core. This includes considering the socioeconomic disparities that influence access to treatment and finding ways to bridge these gaps. Whether through subsidized treatment programs, scaled pricing models, or increased investment in community-based therapeutic initiatives, the aim should be to ensure that the promise of entheogenic therapy does not become a privilege for the few but a accessible option for many.

In conclusion, while the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms in Tucson, AZ, represents a progressive step towards acknowledging and integrating the therapeutic potential of entheogens, it also highlights the need for careful consideration of the socioeconomic dynamics at play. The rise of 4-ACO-DMT as a cheaper alternative underscores the critical issue of accessibility and affordability, urging a rethink of how such policies are implemented to genuinely benefit a broader spectrum of society.

About Rev

“Rev” Hooman (Rev as in revelation) is the Founder of Entheology Project, a 508(c)(1)(a) Non-Profit Entheogenic Support Organization. We wrote MushGPT, a free entheogenic AI chatbot that raises entheo Seeker awareness. Please check out our projects and let us know how we can facilitate you! https://linktr.ee/therevhooman. 🍄❤️✌️

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