"Honestly this is my mellowest 420 in 25 years."
Canadian cannabis activist Dana Larsen shared his love for the green stuff on social media to celebrate 4/20 in Vancouver.
But that wasn't all the marijuana enthusiast shared on the big day.
In addition to giving out joints, Larsen handed out free micro-doses of psilocybin mushrooms, known colloquially as "schrooms" or "magic mushrooms," from his dispensary on Hastings Street.
The Coca Leaf Cafe & Mushroom Dispensary, located at 651 E Hastings Street, opened in September of 2020. However, it only served coca leaf tea at the time, which is an herbal tea made using the raw or dried leaves of the coca plant.
On April 20, however, Larsen told Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone interview that both coca leaves and psilocybin are scheduled substances under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
"Where mushrooms are right now is where cannabis was in the mid-90s. Public awareness is spreading that this is not just a fun thing. It's a powerful medicine with real benefits. Micro-dose amounts are taken twice a week with about a tenth of a gram, usually about 100 mg of powdered mushroom," he explained.
"The idea is you aren't getting high; you feel a little twinkle. It helps people who are dealing with PTSD, anxiety, depression. People often telling me they just have a really good day. They describe that things that would usually upset them, like some minor rudeness that would usually bother them, doesn't."
Larsen added that mushrooms can help people to connect with other living things, such as trees. "That feeling of disconnection with other living things is at the root of anxiety and depression. These mushroom experiences can help with that."
Micro-dosing can also provide enlightening experiences for people, said Larsen. However, "here at the storefront If you come in and you're an adult, I'll sell you micro-doses and you don't need a medical designation. But if you want access to stronger doses for psychedelic purposes, then we require some type of medical document."
Vancouver Police Cst. Steve Addison confirmed that psilocybin is a scheduled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. However, he said the VPD "continues to focus its drug enforcement efforts on violent organized criminals who produce and traffic harmful opioids such as heroin and fentanyl."
Addison also noted police do not arrest or charge people for personal drug possession.
Vancouver celebrates 4/20
While a group gathered on Sunset Beach to celebrate 4/20, Addison said police were not aware of any issues with the group.
When asked if he thought if there will be a 4/20 festival in the future like the last large gathering in Vancouver, Larsen said he doesn't think there will ever be one as big.