Medical cannabis isn’t nature’s only medicinal tool—a new ballot measure to remove criminal penalties on adults 21 and over for possession, sale, cultivation and transportation of mushrooms containing psilocybin was introduced in California.
On Friday, the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative was filed at the state Attorney General office. Per California’s rules on qualifying ballot initiatives, the initiative would need 365,880.
Kevin Saunders, who is running for Mayor of Marina, California introduced the bill. “I think we’re seeing something that could literally heal our brothers and sisters,” Saunders told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re talking about real cutting-edge stuff. It’s a natural progression from marijuana legalization. I think that we are having an opportunity to lead the discussion.” According to Saunders, using psilocybin mushrooms is the only reason he was able to kick his former heroin habit 15 years ago.
Recently, the mechanism behind the effects of psilocybin mushrooms were unlocked by a study, Enzymatic Synthesis of Psilocybin, was published on August 25 in the Wiley Online Library. Interest in the medicinal properties of psilocybin is steadily growing. Before now, the enzymes of psilocybin weren’t completely understood.
Currently, psilocybin mushrooms and their derivatives are listed under Schedule I of the California Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive category alongside cannabis and heroin, with no accepted medical use. In ancient Mesoamerica, the mushroom was called teonanácatl and was used religiously and medicinally by the Mixtecs, Aztecs and the ancient Maya. Life magazine renamed the mushrooms “magic mushrooms” in 1957, just in time for the cultural revolution of the ‘60s. Psilocybin mushrooms, however, are hardly a priority for the Drug Enforcement Agency or local law enforcement. Psilocybin mushroom spores are openly sold online to almost any state.
The medicinal use of psychedelic drugs is going through a renaissance, with the renewed interest in studying psilocybin and MDMA, among other potentially useful drugs. There’s potentially other Californians, like Saunders, who could use psilocybin mushrooms to drop deadly habits.