Want to quit smoking or alleviate depression? In a few years you might be taking the psychedelic "magic" in magic mushrooms—if the FDA ever agrees, the New York Times reports. Researchers from John Hopkins University suggest the FDA should reclassify psilocybin—the psychedelic drug in hallucinogenic mushrooms—to a Schedule IV drug, meaning it can serve a medical use and isn't likely to trigger addiction or abuse. It would be like sleeping pills, but not a simple prescription: "We believe that the conditions should be tightly controlled and that when taken for a clinical reason, it should be administered in a health care setting" under professional guidance, study co-author Matthew Johnson tells Fortune.
Published in Neuropharmacology, the study looks at psilocybin data going back to the 1940s. "In the 1960s, they were on the cutting edge of neuroscience research and understanding how the brain worked," says Johnson. "But then it got out of the lab." Research stopped partly because the hippie counterculture embraced mind-altering drugs like mushrooms and LSD, but a recent cultural shift has seen professionals adopt "microdosing" to increase productivity, and consumers—particularly women—use psychedelics to alleviate anxiety and depression. And while psilocybin poses some health risks, Johnson says in a press release it's safer than other surveyed drugs. But don't hold your breath: FDA approval could take more than five years. (Read more psychedelic drugs stories.)