By this time next year, magic mushrooms could be legal in California thanks to a partnership between the Beckley Foundation and Decriminalize California.
Decriminalize California is a grassroots campaign workings towards psilocybin decriminalization in the state of California through a ballot initiative. The organization’s proposed initiative would legalize psilocybin mushrooms for medical and therapeutic use, and decriminalize them for personal, spiritual and religious use, with adults being able to cultivate and use in the state of California. In addition, the group proposes that those with previous criminal records relating to psilocybin have their sentences reviewed and potentially expunged.
Instead of facing criminal liabilities, minors found in possession would only face a mandatory drug education program without it affecting their permanent record. The initiative would also help create a system in which psilocybin mushrooms would be regulated by California's Department of Food & Agriculture and Department of Public Health.
The Beckley Foundation is a nonprofit organization researching the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, including psilocybin, that was founded by Amanda Fielding in 1998.
A Sprint To 625K
Through the partnership announced Monday, the Beckley Foundation is providing Decriminalize California with strategic advice, contacts and assistance to obtain press coverage. The foundation is also helping Decriminalize California promote education and harm reduction practices relating to psilocybin.
Decriminalize California will need at least 625,000 valid signatures from registered voters in California for the initiative to qualify for the November 2020 presidential election ballot.
The group's goal is to promote "research and education concerning the healing and consciousness-expanding nature of the compounds found in psilocybin mushrooms and to support a campaign to put a ballot initiative for their decriminalization before the voters of California, building the framework for eventual legalization," said Ryan Munevar, Decriminalize California's campaign director.
A 2010 analysis published in The Lancet examined the types of harm associated with drugs and found psilocybin mushrooms to be the safest of the 20 drugs studies, even more so than cannabis, said Zach Topley, Decriminalize California's outreach director.
“Working with leading institutions including Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University, the Beckley Foundation has been responsible for some of the biggest breakthroughs in psilocybin research, including clinical trials and brain imaging studies on psilocybin, and laboratory research into the potential benefits of microdosing psilocybin.”
Zane Bader, former Board Member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, contributed to this report.
Image courtesy of Los Cocos.