According to the San Francisco Standard, activists in California are working to include a question about the legalization of psychedelic mushrooms on the ballots in 2024. Ryan Munevar, campaign director for Decriminalize California, revealed that the group initially aimed for the legalization of all psychedelics. However, they encountered a significant hurdle: a lack of public understanding about the various substances encompassed by the term “psychedelics.”
To advance their cause, the Decriminalize California campaign must gather an impressive 546,651 valid signatures by January 10, 2024. If successful, this would pave the way for an initiative that could have far-reaching implications.
The proposed initiative is ambitious in its scope. It seeks to permit the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, transportation, possession, and consumption of unlimited quantities of magic mushrooms and psilocybin-infused products. Importantly, these freedoms would be extended exclusively to adults aged 21 and older.
One notable aspect of the initiative is its approach to taxation. Unless these products are intended for adult recreational use, they would not be subject to taxes beyond local sales taxes. Additionally, the proposal does not introduce special dual local permits or state license requirements, aiming to streamline the regulatory process.
These developments come on the heels of legislative efforts in California to reform psychedelic laws. In 2021, the state Senate passed a bill aimed at legalizing the possession of psychedelics in California. However, the bill did not progress through the state House. Subsequently, in May of the same year, the Senate approved a similar measure. This latest bill, while not legalizing sales, garnered approval on September 1, 2021, from the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Public opinion appears to be moving in favor of reform as well. A survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, in July found that a substantial 61% of California voters support establishing a regulated framework for the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Furthermore, nearly half of respondents, or 49%, expressed support for the decriminalization of psychedelics.
These developments underscore the evolving landscape surrounding psychedelics in California, as activists, legislators, and the public engage in discussions and actions that may reshape the state’s approach to these substances. Keep an eye on these developments, as they have the potential to influence the broader conversation about psychedelics in the United States.