Portlanders Explain Why They’re Waiting in Line for Psychedelic Mushrooms

“When I found out this place was open, I jumped for joy.”

In a scene reminiscent of a Frank Capra movie, hundreds of Portlanders stood in line, cold and snow be damned, to give a humble shopkeeper their money.

In return, they received a sealed plastic bag of psilocybin mushrooms. (Three and a half grams for $50.)

The run on Shroom House became a national story—proof, the jokesters said, that Portlanders will stand in line for anything, even a Schedule I drug that’s not legal for retail.

But to many of the people we interviewed Dec. 3 on the West Burnside sidewalk, this was no laughing matter. It was more like a Christmas miracle.

We asked people in line what they’re buying and why.

“Opens your mind. I think there’s a lot of your brain that we don’t use.” —Dana

“Whatever is available. I like supporting local business. I think we should have more rights and be able to partake of substances that aren’t hurting other people. I was the first paid door-to-door canvasser for mushroom decriminalization in the world.” —Matt

“[We’re buying] Psychedelic Water and Penis Envy, to see if it’s better than the street kind and get the experience.” —Cierra and Damion Jackson

“Medical magic mushrooms to ease anxiety.” —Stan

“I have bone disease called ankylosing spondylitis. This the only thing that gets me out of pain, getting an ounce of Penis Envy. When I found out this place was open, I jumped for joy.” —Ruby

More photos of the line at Shroom House: