New Calif. ballot measure to legalize psychedelic mushrooms gathering signatures

Along with an effort by the Legislature to legalize psychedelics, California Voters might also be faced with the question of decriminalizing magic mushrooms.

Californians may soon have an opportunity to vote on legalizing magic mushrooms. 

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that a new initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms, known as magic mushrooms, has started to collect signatures. 


The big picture: If the initiative becomes law, magic mushrooms would be decriminalized for anyone 21 and older. 

  • Decriminalization would allow for people to cultivate, manufacture, process, distribute, transport, possess, store, sell and use magic mushrooms. 
  • The petition also would decriminalize the use of any edible products derived from the hallucinogenic chemical compounds found in magic mushrooms. 
  • Further, qualified healthcare practitioners would be allowed to use magic mushrooms for research, treatment and therapy. 
  • The initiative would also seal all criminal records for prior magic mushroom-related offenses if the sentence is completed. 
  • The initiative was brought forth by Ryan Munevar, the campaign director for Decriminalize California, which unsuccessfully tried to decriminalize psychedelics multiple times in recent years. 

By the numbers: Munevar and Decriminalize California need to collect 546,651 signatures from registered voters in California in order to place it on the ballot in 2024. 

  • The nearly 550,000 signatures requirement is five percent of the votes cast for governor in the November 2022 election. 
  • Proponents have until Jan. 10, 2024, to submit the signatures to county elections officials. 

What we’re watching: Along with the initiative to decriminalize magic mushrooms, the California Legislature is also taking up a bill that would decriminalize psychedelics. 

  • The California Senate already passed Senate Bill 58, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco), which would decriminalize psychedelics for anyone 21 and older. 
  • Late last month the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed the bill on a party-line vote. SB 58 will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations before heading to the full Assembly for a floor vote.
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