As soon as next year, psilocybin — or “magic mushrooms” — could be legally obtained in the state of California. This is good news for the mentally ill, as research has shown that the fungi has potential to aid those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and might even “reset” the brains of depressed individuals, among other things.
Though the use of psilocybin remains taboo in most societies, the legalization of the fungi seems to be the “next step” for California residents — at least, according to Kevin Saunders. This is because marijuana becomes legal for recreational use starting in January 2018.
Saunders, who is a a dispensary owner and a mayoral candidate in Marina, co-authored the “California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative” which was introduced in August. The legislation seeks to eliminate the criminal penalties associated with the Schedule I controlled substance. Said Saunders, “This initiative exempts adults, 21 and over, from criminal penalties and decriminalizes adult use of psilocybin, according to the filing with the state attorney general. The would-be law modification also exempts adults, 21 and over, from California health and safety codes which otherwise prohibit possession, sale, transport and cultivation of psilocybin.”
Now, activists are one step closer to seeing their vision realized. Last week, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that the group hoping to legalize magic mushrooms in a manner similar to beer and marijuana could begin collecting signatures. To get the measure on the statewide ballot, supporters will have to collect 365,880 valid voter signatures. While this will prove challenging, it’s not impossible.
Decriminalization vs Legalization
Though the word “decriminalization” is strewn throughout the measure,” in reality, psilocybin would only be legalized if the law passed. This means there would be a government-regulated psilocybin market, and the fungi would be taxed. However, this would still make California the first state in the nation to allow people to purchase a psychedelic substance in the same way they do legal inebriates.
Benefits to the Community
Believe it or not, research supports the notion that legalizing magic mushrooms would positively affect communities — specifically, in the reduction of violent crimes. High Times reports that a team of researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham used data from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health to deduce that psychedelic drugs “significantly decreases the chances of a person committing acts of violence.” Alcohol, on the other hand, seems to inspire rage and self-destruction.
The study was published in the latest Journal of Psychopharmacology. The researchers concluded that people who used psychedelic substances in their lifetimes were around 18 percent less likely to be arrested for a violent crime. They took into account data from nearly 500,000 respondents to come to this conclusion.
Said lead researcher Peter Hendricks, “These findings are consistent with a growing body of research suggesting classic psychedelics confer enduring psychological and prosocial benefits.”
To get the measure on the ballot, Saunders and volunteers will be reaching out to “power players” in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Reportedly, the entrepreneur is optimistic about the campaign. “We will get the required signatures and this will go straight to the voters,” Saunders said. “We are confident we can put together a coalition to push us over 51 percent. This is the hard part; the campaign will be the easy part.”
“We expect this campaign to rely heavily on volunteers, those who are well versed in where to harvest these signatures,” he added. “We plan to be very visible at this year’s Emerald Cup, on various college and university campuses, gay pride parades and Burning Man affiliated parties and get-togethers.”
According to a YouGov survey, 63 percent of the American population now supports the concept of psilocybin (and other psychedelic substances, including marijuana, LSD and MDMA) being used in modern medicine. Still, gathering enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot, then ensuring a high enough voter turnout may prove difficult.
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Via High Times
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here