In December 2021, Jesse Merks, 28, residing in Vancouver and battling opioid addiction, seized an unconventional opportunity to try psilocybin, the active component in magic mushrooms, as a potential treatment. Despite rejection from the government due to lack of research, his counselor facilitated a supervised session with five grams of the substance. This experience, marked by profound introspection and tears of relief, led to nearly a year of drug abstinence—the longest since his teenage addiction to opioids. He’s now part of a collective effort alongside Canadian patients in a lawsuit against the federal government, advocating for legal access to psychedelic treatments.

Read the full story from Manisha Krishnan at VICE News here.

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