Earlier this year, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa was arrested on felony narcotics charges for possession of hallucingenic mushrooms and LSD at Washington Dulles International Airport after returning from Ghana with Chance The Rapper. US Customs and Border Protection noted he had 41 grams of liquid LSD, about 124 grams of Psilocybin capsules, 178 grams of Psilocybin gummies, and six grams of Psilocybin mushrooms in his luggage. According to TMZ, a representative for Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney says Vic pled guilty to one count of possession of a Schedule III controlled substance — a misdemeanor — in exchange for a year of unsupervised probation.
The lesser penalty came in lieu of a 12-month jail sentence and includes a $1k fine, 25 hours of community service, and a substance abuse assessment. Vic also gave a statement to TMZ, calling for reform of drug laws to decriminalize hallucinogens and advocating their use in mental health treatment. You can read that statement below.
In this case, I have decided to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge. I have been extremely vocal about my mental health, the culture at large and access to mental health treatment. It is important to note the extensive research being done on the topic of psilocybin [shrooms] and the many significant movements underway for legalization and decriminalization.
Esteemed universities such as Johns Hopkins, University of California, NYU, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and The Imperial College of London have all immersed themselves in years-long research programs with full departments and centers dedicated to this work. Unfortunately, our laws have not kept up with the research showing that psychedelic plants and compounds can be successfully used to treat otherwise treatment-resistant mental illness .
I have contributed positively to many communities and will continue to do so with this case. My hope is that the silver lining to this matter will be increased focus on the effectiveness of psychedelics to treat mental illness and mood disorders that millions are battling with depression and anxiety with hope that all of our laws will change accordingly.