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California psychedelics activists embark on a bold journey, petitioning for the 2022 vote to legalize the state first in the country to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for all uses.
The action, titled California Psilocybin Initiative, would legalize the “personal, medicinal, therapeutic, religious, spiritual, and dietary use of psilocybin mushrooms” for adults 21 and older.
In addition, the initiative would enable cultivation, retail sales, social sharing, and local consumption of the psychedelic.
There would be no restrictions on personal possessions – a policy that has sparked controversy in the state legislature over separate laws legalizing the possession of a wide range of psychedelics that have already passed the Senate, but which is in the most recent recital The meeting committee added certain restrictions in an effort to build support.
Decriminalize California activists filed the petition with the attorney general’s office on Monday. This initiated a 30-day public comment period that will last until August 11th. If the Office accepts the action and assigns it a title and abstract, the group must collect 623,212 valid signatures from registered voters within 180 days.
Although this proposal goes beyond the psilocybin measure that Oregon voters approved last year, which legalized therapeutic use in a clinically supervised setting, it still has a specific medical component.
Healthcare professionals “may recommend psilocybin or psilocybin mushrooms for use in minors and adults under the age of 21 to treat specific and appropriate indications,” it says.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture would be responsible for overseeing the overall implementation of the program. In the meantime, the State Department of Consumers and the Agency for Health and Human Services “must adopt and implement the qualification requirements and protocols for psilocybin mushroom-assisted therapy created by an independent professional certification body. ”
Activists have made a concerted effort in the action to ensure that psilocybin products are generally treated like other legal goods. For example, the products would not be subject to licensing requirements, fees or taxes in excess of “the amount charged or charged for comparable companies unrelated to psilocybin mushrooms”.
Psilocybin sold for “medical, therapeutic, religious, or spiritual purposes” is not subject to any sales or excise taxes at all. Those marketed as dietary supplements would be taxed “at the local sales tax rate at the point of sale”.
“Psilocybin-mushrooms and psilocybin-mushroom companies should be regulated as closely as possible for non-psychoactive, agriculturally produced mushrooms,” with the exception of specific labeling requirements, says the measure. The labels must contain a universal symbol and a warning that asks consumers to keep them out of the reach of children and to draw attention to impairments. The packaging must also explain the contents of the product, including milligrams of active ingredients per pack and per serving.
Researchers, health professionals, and therapists would have specific psilocybin protections built into the initiative. The psychedelic could also not be used as the sole basis for abolishing parental rights.
“Effective January 1, 2023, any psilocybin mushroom company operating in land zoned for commercial agricultural production and approved by COPA for food production will be able to grow, manufacture and wholesale psilocybin – Start mushrooms “, says the measure. “Starting April 19, 2023, any company incorporated in California with a California seller license can begin retail sales.”
Local jurisdictions could prohibit or restrict psilocybin companies from operating in their area if voters approve the restriction through a citizens’ initiative or a governing body petition.
With the exception of safety-critical positions, “no person may refuse to provide services or benefits or increase the fee for services or benefits based on the lawful use, cultivation, possession, storage or sale of psilocybin mushrooms,” it says.
“The purpose of this law is to implement a comprehensive nationwide system authorizing the cultivation, processing and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms and the chemical compounds they contain for personal, medicinal, therapeutic, spiritual, religious and dietetic use and regulated, ”said Ryan Munevar, campaign leader for Decriminalize California, said in an email to supporters.
He added, “If all goes well and society is not shut down by another round of plague, hornet murder, or alien invasion (my personal favorite), we should start collecting signatures from early September this year. “
Decriminalize California previously said it would work first to convince lawmakers to reform and then bring the problem straight to the people if lawmakers fail to act.
It’s not clear whether the group lost confidence in a Senate decriminalization of psychedelics bill sponsored by Senator Scott Wiener (D) and passed through the second assembly committee this week, or whether they are simply taking a different route would like to legalize only psilocybin and allow commercial sale.
The group tried to achieve a similar move in the November 2020 vote, but faced signature collection complications due to the coronavirus pandemic and eventually abandoned those efforts.
“Historically, what we’ve done is the most honest form of open source politics and brings us one step closer to real direct democracy through electronic debate,” said Munevar.
Activists are also stepping up push to enforce psychedelics reform locally in other cities in the state and across the country.
Northampton, Massachusetts City Council passed a resolution in April not prioritizing enforcement of laws against the possession, use, and distribution of a wide range of psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca. It is the third city in the state, after Somerville and Cambridge, to drive policy change.
These are some of the latest iterations of a national psychedelics reform movement that has spread rapidly since Denver was the first city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in 2019.
In addition to the Massachusetts cities, four others – Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, and Washington, DC – have decriminalized possession of plant and mushroom-based psychedelic substances.
A councilor from Arcata, California, announced this month that it would support a move to decriminalize psychedelics
A historic initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use and to further decriminalize possession of all drugs was passed in Oregon in the November election.
The Connecticut governor recently signed law requiring the state to conduct a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.
Texas also recently passed bill requiring the state to study the medical benefits of psychedelics for military veterans.
A New York lawmaker tabled a bill last month that would oblige the state to create an institute to conduct similar research into the medical value of psychedelics.
In Oakland, the first city where a city council voted to make the criminalization of entheogenic substances largely a priority, lawmakers passed a follow-up resolution in December calling for the policy change to be passed nationwide and for local jurisdictions to allow healing ceremonies to allow where people might use psychedelics.
After Ann Arbor legislators passed a decriminalization resolution last year, a district attorney recently announced that his office would not bring charges of possession of entheogenic plants and mushrooms “regardless of the amount in dispute.”
Aspen, Colorado City Council met in May to discuss the therapeutic potential of psychedelics such as psilocybin and proposals to decriminalize such substances. However, members said that passing a reform would be better handled at the federal level, while entheogens would be tightly controlled by the federal government.
Seattle lawmakers also recently sent a letter to members of a local task force focused on the opioid overdose epidemic calling on the group to investigate the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like ayahuasca and ibogaine in curbing addiction.
Read the text from California’s psilocybin legalization initiative below:
Californian psilocybin initi … from Marijuana Moment
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia / Mushroom Observer.
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