California activists are now looking to take a new approach to set a ballot initiative in 2022 as regards the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms nationwide. This won’t be the first time a similar measure has been proposed as this was initially attempted in November of 2020. However, the initiative faced complications related to signature gathering given the Covid pandemic and eventual abandonment of the effort. The present advocates also understand that they may face similar challenges once the campaign kicks off. But, they are very confident that the experience and resources they have will help them prevail over these obstacles.
Now, advocates are inviting volunteers to help endorse revisions to the reform initiative that the group hopes to submit. A bigger part of the draft reform is still similar to the proposal drafted in 2020. But three great changes have been made to appeal to midterm voters who are usually more conservative and older.
While the ballot measure seems to be the face of the campaign, California activists still have other endeavors and ideas to bring the initiative to life. Decriminalize California and have several times made contacts with the office of a state senator to work on the campaign. The senator has previously mentioned that he would be tabling a bill to decriminalize specific psychedelics such as psilocybin.
At the moment, the content of Scott Weiner’s proposal has not been published but we believe it can’t be as reaching as the activist-led initiative. The initiative proposes that psilocybin should be legalized for spiritual, personal, dietary, medical, and therapeutic use.
The latest draft of the ballot initiative notes that the “possession, distribution, storage, transportation, consumption, retail sales, on-site consumption, farmers’ market, social consumption, and public events, for-profit or not If magic mushrooms should become lawful in the state and a subject of concern statewide.
However, different from Decriminalize California — the first psilocybin initiative, this latest draft allows such activities to restrict to adults above 21 years old. The latest reform also updated the process of getting previous convictions of psilocybin expunged.
While the previous proposal demanded matic expungement, the latest calls for a voluntary one. This way, the overall cost of the measure will be reduced in the project summary that would be made public. Lastly, specific definitions were also redefined as regards psychedelic therapeutic use.
During an interview with Marijuana Moment, Decriminalize California’s campaign director, Ryan Munevar commented on the issue. He affirmed that the present reform with the legislative and dual ballot approach is simply a double-pronged strategy. He continued, claiming if the reform is with the backing he and Scott Weiner will do it. Munevar also claims that they are still pushing theirs behind the scene which is radically more progressive than what the public is witnessing right now.
To get the 2022 ballot initiative going, California activists will need a minimum of 623,212 credible signatures from voters who are fully registered. To achieve this, a combined effort of a huge group of volunteers and a well-funded campaign will be needed.
With more than 1,350 volunteers across the United States, Decriminalizing California stands a great chance at changing Califonia’s history. Decriminalizing California will surely be able to achieve that with strong drug reform terminologies. These words were written in an email Munevar sent to supporters, declaring the group’s newest strategy.
With Denver becoming the first United States city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms through a citizen initiative in 2019, the nationwide trend has quickly spread. The California campaign is a good example of how activists are moving to reform psychedelic legislation at both the state and city levels.
As it stands, six different cities have decriminalized the possession of a wider collection of fungi- and plant-based psychedelics since Denver made such a huge step. These other cities are Santa Cruz, Washington, D.C., Oakland, Cambridge, Ann Arbor, and Somerville.
A very good example of legal psychedelics reform that California activists are trying to achieve is Oregon’s access to legal psychedelics. In Oregon, voters approved the notable initiative to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin and decriminalize several drugs.
On the legislative side of things, it will be good to note that Weiner isn’t the only state lawmaker following in the activists’ footsteps. Just recently, an Iowa republican lawmaker introduced a bill to eliminate psilocybin from the category of controlled substances. The bill also looks to cater to severely sick patients to use LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, DMT, and other medications.
The bill states that patients that are terminally ill and individuals with life-threatening conditions would qualify for psychedelic alternative treatments. Patients who qualify for these psychedelic alternative treatments must
Tried but failed to respond to conventional pharmaceutical treatment
Earned a prescription to use any of the controlled substances for medication
Have evidence to back up claims
Have submitted an informed written consent.
A state legislator in Texas also brought forward a bill that would compel the state to research psilocybin’s therapeutic ability in the treatment of various mental health issues. The bill also included the study of Ketamine and MDMA in this regard.
Rep. Alex Dominguez proposed the bill to mandate the State Health Services Department to research MDMA, Ketamine, and psilocybin’s therapeutic ability. The research is said to be in partnership with the Medical Board of Texas and the report is due December 1, 2022.
The bill explains that researchers should determine and evaluate if alternative therapies are effective in the treatment of mental health and various health conditions. These conditions include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, migraines, chronic pains, and PTSD. This bill is known as HB 1802.
The study is also said to compare the efficacy of conventional medication with that of alternative therapies to see which is best for treating mental health and other health conditions.
If the research and studies surrounding psychedelic alternative treatment come out positive, we could witness more psychedelic reform movements across the US. Right now, legislators in Florida, Connecticut, Kansas, Virginia, and Washington State, are also looking into drug and psychedelics policy reform bills to see if they could pass.