Why California Could Be the First State to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms

The campaign behind an initiative seeking the 2020 ballot.

Although California was not the first to legalize recreational marijuana in the country, the impact of that move by the most populous state in the nation certainly generated momentum for the movement. Now the state has the potential to be the first to decriminalize magic mushrooms. This follows Oakland’s decision to allow residents to possess psilocybin, peyote and other psychedelic plants without fear of prosecution. Oakland is only the second city in the U.S. to do so. The other is Denver.

The news gives Decriminalize California, an organization devoted to decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms a boost to their larger goal of a statewide policy. Learning from the stumbles of the cannabis rollout, the mushroom folks plan to fine-tune the messaging to potential voters.   

According to LA Magazine, “The process started in May, when the group submitted a request to the Legal Council of California asking for assistance in drafting its initiative. It faces a steep hill of nearly a million signatures needed to make it on the ballot in 2020; to put that into perspective, a similar initiative failed to find half that support in 2018. Despite the daunting number, Decriminalize California director Ryan Munevar is feeling pretty good about the odds, partly because the group has made L.A. the movement’s focus. “We’re setting up our office in Hollywood because it’s the entertainment capital of the world,” he said over the phone. ‘Los Angeles County also has the largest concentration of eligible voters and social media influencers in the country.’ Influencers, he says, will play a huge role in the campaign.”

Will the organization win over the hearts and minds of Golden State voters? You can read more about Decriminalize California and their efforts to fundraise and educate the public on the initiative here. 

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