In contrast to a bill making its way through the legislature that would legalize the possession of psychedelic substances, Decriminalize California’s plan would legalize commercial ‘shroom sales.
Californians are ready for legal psilocybin mushrooms — and it sounds like they’re not going to wait around for legislators to allow them to have it. Marijuana Moment reports that a group called Decriminalize California has submitted a petition to the California attorney general’s office for a 2022 ballot measure that would make California the first state to legalize magic mushrooms.
The “California Psilocybin Initiative” takes a more permissive stance on the endogenic plant laws and resolutions that have passed in other parts of the US and some California cities.
Notably, it would approve all “personal, medical, therapeutic, religious, spiritual, and dietary use of Psilocybin Mushrooms,” as opposed to the therapeutic legalization for which Oregon residents voted in favor of last November.
The proposed law would regulate psilocybin mushrooms the way your average button or porcini mushroom is controlled. The one exception would be labelling requirements, which will include child safeguards and dosage information.
While legalizing mushrooms may sound like a pipedream, politicians are actually on board with softening the laws around psychedelics prohibition. In fact, the state’s Senate passed a bill to legalize the possession of psychedelic drugs — including MDMA, ibogaine, mescaline, and LSD; the legislation excludes ketamine, however, which was featured in an earlier version of the bill — in late June. That bill appears to be gathering momentum in the lower legislative house. On Tuesday, a legislative committee in the California Assembly advanced the potential new proposition, after amending it with possession limits, which includes 4-ounces of psilocybin mushrooms.
The bill also has an eye toward correcting the inequities of the War on Drugs, promising criminal record expungement for Californians who have been punished for their use of psychedelic substances.
The Decriminalize California voter initiative, in contrast, would establish a legal system for the sale of psilocybin, without making any legislative changes to the prohibition of other drugs.
“If all goes well and society isn’t shut down from another round of the plague, murder hornets, or an alien invasion (my personal favorite) then we should begin collecting signatures starting in early September of this year,” the group stated in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
That post also stated that the group would have 180 days to collect 623,212 to qualify for the California ballot in 2022. If it gets to that point, it won’t be the first time that the organization has made a play to get a similar measure passed — a past effort to figure on the 2020 ballot was foiled by the COVID-19 pandemic’s deleterious effects on IRL signature-gathering campaigns.
Though both of these proposals focus on mushrooms at a state-wide level, various California cities have already taken steps to widen ‘shroom access. Oakland took a progressive stance when the city council passed a resolution to decriminalize entheogenic plants in 2019; now the city is working to create a legal framework for the sale of psychedelics, although it has not been passed yet. Santa Cruz’s city council also passed psychedelic decriminalization measures in 2020. Denver was the first city in the United States to pass a psilocybin decriminalization measure in 2019, igniting a nationwide movement to reconsider our legal relationship to the plants of power.