California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative
The Beckley Foundation is proud to announce its partnership with Decriminalize California (the California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative 2020), an open-source citizens’ initiative which would:
- legalize psilocybin mushrooms and their extracts and derivatives for therapeutic and medical use,
- and decriminalize it for personal, spiritual and religious use; allowing people to cultivate and use psilocybin mushrooms in their own home and on privately-owned property; and enabling those convicted of psilocybin-related crimes to have their sentences reviewed and, when appropriate, have their criminal records expunged.
You can read the full press release here.
The initiative decriminalizes psilocybin use by adults aged 18+. For minors found in possession of psilocybin mushrooms, the initiative reduces the penalty to a mandatory drug education program, without the charge being added to their permanent record.
For this measure to qualify for the ballot, Decriminalize California will need to gather at least 625,000 valid signatures from registered voters in California. Once qualified, the initiative will be put to voters for approval in November 2020, alongside the Presidential and Congressional elections.
Amanda Feilding has described the partnership as “a timely collaboration for California to expand its forward-thinking drug policies, and further reduce unnecessary law enforcement and expenditure against harmless activities. After years of rigorous scientific research demonstrating the safety and medical potential of psilocybin, and the recent decriminalization of psilocybin in Denver and Oakland, state-wide decriminalization is the next step in reforming drug policies to reflect scientific evidence. The time for change is now!”.
Decriminalize California’s Campaign Director Ryan Munevar commented that “to have the support of Amanda Feilding is to bring the weight of fifty years of the failed drug war to bear. She is the mother of the psychedelic renaissance and a visionary in the field. To be in partnership with the Beckley Foundation just before the signature campaign begins is a blessing in itself. We are privileged to have their insight and wisdom at this extraordinary transition in history. Honestly, we have more questions than answers about what the future holds and we want as many enlightened individuals to participate in the process of a statewide open-source initiative”.
Following successful decriminalization in Denver, Colorado and Oakland, this campaign to decriminalize psilocybin at the State-level in California is the latest manifestation of the growing momentum for drug policy reform across the United States and beyond.
California has a history of being at the forefront of drug policy reform, with voters being the first to legalize medical cannabis in 1996 and later in 2016 adult-use of cannabis; if psilocybin decriminalization is approved by California voters, such a policy would be globally unprecedented and would pave the way for other States to follow.
Decriminalize California is one of two citizens’ initiatives in the United States aimed at facilitating access to psilocybin; in Oregon, the Psilocybin Service Initiative is attempting to expand access to psilocybin under therapeutic supervision.
Decriminalize California welcomes the knowledge and expertise that Amanda and the team at the Beckley Foundation brings to the campaign, and looks forward to implementing evidence-based drug policies, via the democratic consent of the people of California, and working to end many of the disastrous collateral harms caused by decades of prohibition.
For more information on the campaign, visit decrimca.org or contact Zach Topley, Decriminalize California’s Outreach Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can support the psychedelic research and drug policy reform work of the Beckley Foundation here.