California government building

California Governor Vetoed Bills on Hallucinogen Decriminalization

The proposed legislation in California, set to be effective by 2025.

California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed two significant bills. The first would have made California the pioneer U.S. state to ban caste-based discrimination. The second aimed at decriminalizing the possession and personal use of certain hallucinogens, including psychedelic mushrooms.

Regarding the decriminalization of hallucinogens, the bill sought to protect individuals from arrest or prosecution for possessing small quantities of plant-based hallucinogens. However, Newsom argued that more preparatory work is needed before decriminalization, suggesting that guidelines for treatment should be established first. Though psychedelic treatment has gained momentum as a therapeutic option for mental ailments, with the Federal Drug Administration acknowledging its potential, concerns remain. Some fear increased crime rates and easier drug access for minors, although studies dispute the former.

The proposed legislation in California, set to be effective by 2025, aimed at directing the state’s Health and Human Services Agency to research and provide guidelines on the therapeutic use of psychedelics.

Despite state-level acceptance, these substances would remain illegal under federal law. Recently, psychedelics have gained recognition for potential therapeutic benefits, notably with the FDA acknowledging psilocybin as a promising treatment for depression. The public’s perspective on psychedelics has evolved to support their medicinal use, with veterans among its vocal proponents, citing their effectiveness in treating trauma-related disorders.

What are Magic Mushrooms?

magic mushrooms in the lab

Mushrooms containing the psychoactive component psilocybin belong to the fungi realm. This compound makes them induce hallucinations and cognitive alterations. These fungi are commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms” or just “shrooms.”

An expanding range of studies indicates that these mushrooms can be effective in treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance dependence. Evidence suggests that even minimal doses can yield prolonged positive impacts, lasting up to a year. It’s believed that sporadic consumption can maintain these effects.

Historically, mushrooms have played significant roles, from sacred rituals to modern cultural phenomena. The oldest known depiction dates back to 10,000 BCE in Northern Australia, showcasing murals with mushrooms and vivid psychedelic art. References to mushrooms also appear in Mayan and Aztec legends.

Long before they were categorized as a Schedule I substance during the drug prohibition era, mushrooms were valued for their therapeutic and healing properties. Even with their restricted legal status worldwide, they continue to be utilized for spiritual, medicinal, and recreational purposes.

Users of these mushrooms often report enhanced spirituality, uplifted moods, heightened receptivity to new experiences, and vivid imaginations. Such experiences are believed to be linked to the mushroom’s capability to boost neuroplasticity, the process governing learning and forming new neural pathways in the brain.

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Weekly Psychedelic News – Week 29, 2023

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