Freedom of Thought
By Paul Lewin
Challenging the Psilocybin Laws in Canada
Paul Lewin and Jack Lloyd, lawyers with Cannabis and Psychedelics Group LLP, will be challenging Canada’s psilocybin laws in a London, Ontario courthouse. If they succeed, psilocybin will be legal. Their client, Sam Akila, says that the laws prohibiting psilocybin are contrary to freedom of thought under section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”).
Freedom of thought is a fundamental right that is necessary for the proper exercise of most other rights including freedom of religion, freedom of expression and the right to vote. It is a foundational right that fosters mental autonomy, dignity and identity. It is a bulwark against tyranny. It is the most important of all rights.
Thought is an idea or opinion produced by the act of thinking. Thought is the process involved in judging, reasoning, concept formation, problem solving, and deliberation.Thought is almost any mental event including perception and even unconscious mental processes. Thought is broad.
Psilocybin enhances thought in many ways. Psilocybin promotes focus,mindfulness, openness, creativity, connectivity, peace, calm, awe,compassion, and empathy. Psilocybinprovides spiritual and emotional insights. Psilocybinis to freedom of thought what the printing press was to freedom of expression, what a church is to freedom of religion or what a passport is to freedom of mobility. It is a critical tool that allows one to experience this freedom in a more fulsome manner.
Psilocybin is also a safe substance that is not addictive or toxic. It can be safely consumed. That is important at the Charter’s section 1 analysis. We also allege that the psilocybin laws contravene section 7 of the Charter in that they breach liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not consistent with the fundamental principles of justice, namely, arbitrariness. Section 7 is a strong argument, but at its beating heart, this case is about freedom of thought and psilocybinis a miraculous, awesome freedom-of-thought tool. Psilocybin will be legal soon.
This case may be about psilocybin, but it will not stop here. This will be the first step in the legal unravelling of all the psychedelic prohibitions.