Are Magic Mushrooms Next to be Decriminalized in Calfornia?
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California this year, some people are wondering what will be the next drug to be decriminalized in the state. Magic mushrooms may be the next drug to be decriminalized with the help of one man who has been pushing for the state to become the first to decriminalize the drug. Kevin Saunders, a mayoral candidate for the city of Marina, near San Francisco, has filed a proposal that would exempt adults over the age of 21 from any penalties over possessing, growing, selling or transporting psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms. There are 365,880 voter signatures need by the end of April 2018 for the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative to be placed on the statewide ballot in November. Saunders stated,
The world is really hurting and everybody is at a loss about what’s going on right now with Trump, Brexit, the refugee crisis and everything else. I’m at a loss at what to do politically, but the only thing I feel like we could do is get psilocybin into more people’s hands. It deflates the ego and strips down your own walls and [defenses] and allows you to look at yourself in a different light. It could allow people to figure out what to do and could [revolutionize] the way we treat those with depression, addiction and cluster headaches.
Magic mushrooms, just like marijuana, is in the federal government’s list of schedule 1 drugs, which means that people can be criminally prosecuted by the federal government even if a state passes legislation to allow the use or possession of the drugs. According to Saunders, magic mushrooms helped him get over a “debilitating five-year heroin addiction” in 2003. Apparently, there have been several clinical trials in which psychedelic mushrooms were used to successfully treat severe depression, anxiety and addiction. Robin Carhart-Harris, the head of psychedelic research at Imperial College London’s Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, has been studying the use of psilocybin to tackle treatment-resistant depression and believes that it is a “logical inevitability” that the drug will become available to patients. Final phase 3 clinical trials must be completed before the drug can be approved by the FDA and if the drug were to be decriminalized a standardized dose of psilocybin would more than likely be administered in capsule or pill form. We will have to wait and see if Saunders’s efforts help place the proposed initiative on the statewide ballot.