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California To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms?

California To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms?

Legalization

California To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms?

The movement to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in California has officially begun.

With only a scant few months away from full-on recreational cannabis legalization on January 1, activists are making strides to do away with punitive adjudication regarding the possession, sale, carrying, and cultivation of fungi that contain the psychoactive chemical psilocybin. Or, in layman’s terms, residents of the Golden State have blasted a call-to-arms to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

Initiative to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms Officially Filed

California To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms?

The move to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms officially kick-started its campaign with a ballot initiative submitted last Friday. Lead by medicinal cannabis activist Kevin Saunders—who is also running for mayor in the Monterrey County town Marina—the California Psilocybin Initiative aims to strip away potential criminal penalties from persons 21 and older who are found in possession of ‘shrooms.

Theoretically, possession would also include decriminalizing growing, transporting, and/or selling them.

But filing the petition is only the first step of many. To get the initiative on the ballot, Saunders must now collect a minimum of 365,880 signatures within a window of 180 days. If he’s able to complete that, the initiative will then be eligible for next year’s election. Then, and only then, can it be put to a vote.

Either way, the petition is fulfilling at least one of Saunder’s prerogatives: de-stigmatizing the discussion around psychedelic mushrooms.

“What I want to do is take the shackles off. I want to have an adult conversation,” Saunders recently said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “Not only are the soccer moms high now, but some of them are taking mushrooms.”

Final Hit: California Activists Make Moves to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

While detractors of the bill might point to the psychoactive effects of psilocybin as an immediate disqualifier for decriminalization, recent studies have pointed to the medical benefits of the compound, lending the petition a sense of legitimacy.

As the Huffington Post reported, two different studies on the effects of psychotherapy with psilocybin for patients with cancer-related mood disorders proved to be reparative for the majority of participants. Roughly 60 and 80 percent in each study showed “clinically significant reductions in both conditions” upon completion.

The icing on the cake? As safe as it is to smoke weed, a report published by the 2017 Global Drugs Survey found that psychedelic mushrooms were the safest recreational substance to consume. Yes, that’s right: safer than healthy, CBD-rich cannabis. Indeed, it’s a magical time to be alive.

J.E. Reich

J.E. Reich is a Brooklyn-based GRD staff writer and a former night/weekend editor at Jezebel. Their work has appeared in Slate, the Toast, the Forward, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

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