When will psychedelic drugs be decriminalized in California?

Digital Millennium

California, United States. / 21.09.2021 08:02:10

California legalized medical marijuana 25 years ago when voters approved an initiative that eventually helped repeal cannabis prohibition in all but three states.

The legalization movement that brought high-end pot shops to Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco is now focused on psychedelic drugs. A voter initiative to decriminalize signature-gathering magic mushrooms was recently passed, and it is expected that a legislative proposal next year.

Some in the decriminalization movement say legalization of psychedelic drugs is inevitable, pointing to Oregon, where voters approved decriminalizing magic mushrooms last year, and Denver and Oakland, California, which passed similar laws in 2019.

What is the status of the approval of psychedelics in California?

On September 16, the state attorney general approved the collection of signatures for a proposed initiative that seeks decriminalize magic mushrooms for those over 21 years of age. Proponents are targeting the 2022 ballot but face the challenge of millions of dollars in fundraising typically required to gather enough signatures to qualify for voter consideration.

Opponents could use the time to argue that decriminalization is a slippery slope to greater drug use, a notion dismissed by researchers and even the federal government which, in a 2018 review of studies on the “drug input”, concluded that there was “no causal link between the use of cannabis and the use of other illicit drugs”.

“Marijuana first, hallucinogens now and heroin tomorrow,” said Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Decriminalization advocates disagree, but say psychedelics should come with a healthy respect for the sometimes hallucinatory nature of the substances.

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