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Should ‘Shrooms Be Legalized?

by Countable | 9.1.17

What’s the story?

Voters in California legalized recreational marijuana—could magic mushrooms be next?

The hula dancers on my Hawaiian shirt say, "Oh yeah," but the undulating pattern on my wallpaper says, “Who are you really?”

While Washington, Oregon and Colorado beat California to the pot party, the Golden State may be the first of the nifty fifty to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.

Why does it matter?

Kevin Saunders, a mayoral candidate for the Central Coast town of Marina, recently filed a proposal to legalize the possession, sale, carrying and cultivating of the psilocybin-containing fungi for persons 21 and older.

"What I want to do is take the shackles off," Saunders recently said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “I want to have an adult conversation. Not only are the soccer moms high now, but some of them are taking mushrooms.”

The initiative, however, is still in its spore stage: to get the measure on the ballot, Saunders has to collect at least 365,880 signatures within 180 days. And as the L.A. Weekly noted, "it takes about $2 million to $3 million to collect the" required signatures.

Despite the economic and numerical challenges of gathering the signatures, Saunders remains undaunted. He told the Bee that a "large community of volunteers will help gather signatures" and he hopes the campaign will get financial assistance from groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance, Hollywood celebrities, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

"We think that things are evolving so quickly and that minds are opening almost daily," Saunders said.

Even if the initiative were to make it to the ballot, and voters decided to pass it, legalized magic mushrooms would face the same challenges as legalized marijuana: it would remain illegal on the federal level. As The Hill explained, "Psilocybin is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law, meaning it is ripe for potential abuse and has no widely accepted medical use. Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy and bath salts."

Saunders filed his measure with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) last Friday. Becerra’s office will review the language of the proposal before issuing a ballot title and formal summary of the measure. Then, Saunders will be cleared to gather signatures.

What do you think?

Should mushrooms be legalized? Should voters or the government decide which drugs should be legal? Hit the Take Action button, tell your reps, comment below, watch your words bleed, and who are you really?

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: gilaxia / iStockphoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(70)
  • Andy1
    09/01/2017
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    Decriminalized maybe, but shouldn't we be focusing our efforts on more important things? Like getting Trump out of office, or moving to protect DACA recipients, or reforming our police forces, or defending our public schools from Devos, or countless other more pressing matters

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  • Joseph
    09/01/2017
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    All drugs should be legal. We have been losing the war on drugs for over 30 year and who knows how much money spent trying to fight the war on drugs. With drugs being illegal but people still wanting themcauses a lot of bad things such as drug cartels and gangs in the US killing each other over drug dealing territory. Most people are not waiting for heroin to become legal to start using it. The ones addicted did not care that it was illegal when they started. All the money wasted on trying to win the war on drugs would be better off used to treat addictions

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  • Mason
    09/01/2017
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    Legalize it, Tax it, and Regulate it. This has been the solution to the failed war on drugs for several decades. That isn't to say all drugs should be legalized but there are many that should. There are many that fall under schedule one restrictions which also inhibits any attempts to study it, which could easily lead to new potential treatments for various ailments ranging from psychological to physical.

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  • Scott
    09/01/2017
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    Psilocybin mushrooms should absolutely be decriminalized, legalized, and regulated. It would be much safer and be very beneficial to one's self and the country. I 100% vouch for this.

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  • Derrek
    09/02/2017
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    Studies by MAPS.org show significant psychological and physiological benefits from psychedelic mushrooms that range from curing depression, anxiety, PTSD and physical brain damage. Aside from the benefits for these (and other) ailments, a healthy person can experience profound spiritual and interpersonal benefits from the magic mushrooms. Countries like Portugal have decriminalized ALL drugs (10+ years ago), and have seen significant declines in abuse rates and over doses in the past decade. Prohibition doesn't work. Regulation, taxation, and medication are all sensible & reasonable steps toward a better America, and a better world.

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  • Leon
    09/01/2017
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    Again, a person has rights over their body that are inviolable by the government. It may not be a good idea but it's up to the person.

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  • Truly
    09/01/2017
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    So in the middle of an opioid crisis, this.

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  • Russ
    09/03/2017
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    All drugs should be decriminalized. The war on drugs is a failure on all counts.

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  • Azrael
    09/01/2017
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    Legalize all drugs regulate sale and purity at state and federal levels Tax goes toward treatment of addiction Forbidden fruit is always sweetest Leave a full bowl on the table and they walk right by What was the addiction rate when it was legal to buy over the counter? Let's look at the true records then decide

    Like (4)
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  • Lawrence
    09/01/2017
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    Legalize all drugs and tax the dangerous drugs out of existence, if the drugs aren't prescribed by a doctor.

    Like (3)
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  • Alex
    09/01/2017
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    Magic mushrooms should be legalized, along with all other drugs. End the Drug War!

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  • Andrew
    09/01/2017
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    YEA!

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  • RishiGandhi
    09/01/2017
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    It ahould be decriminalized and made legal. Recreational drugs will be taken wherher they are illegal or not. Just like alcohol, just like cigarettes and just like guns. A puritanical approach to dealing with drugs leads to innocents in jail, harmful drug education and unsafe use of drugs.

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  • Jeff
    09/01/2017
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    Philosophically: The government should not interfere with any individual's choice as long as it isn't harming others. Practically: the war on drugs has failed completely. We put people in cages over relatively harmless plants while bodies are piling up over pills prescribed by doctors. Psychedelic substances, like mushrooms, when taken under the supervision of a professional, have actually helped people get off harder drugs such as heroin. We have to stop putting all drugs in the same category and imagining that everyone has the same genetics and brain chemistry. Addiction is not a moral failing and no one should be jailed for it. Instead of pumping more money into the prison industry, we can be treating people instead, and addiction rates and the crime surrounding the illegality of drugs will go down.

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  • David
    09/03/2017
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    Screw it, let's just be Amsterdam.

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  • evelynpsims
    09/02/2017
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    If ever wishes could come true, my wish would be for those in positions of power, legislators and general public for that matter to learn from our history. Long ago there was this thing called prohibition. Prohibition made alcohol illegal. Did it stop people from drinking alcohol? No. Those that wished to partake in alcoholic beverages were able to do so in many ways shapes and forms. More importantly is what prohibition did create. It created a tremendous growth in gangland killings, growth in organized crime families. Much like what modern day experiences with all the various illegal drugs. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not promoting drug usage. I have no use for them. But, I do not think it is governments place, right or duty to tell a consenting adult what he/she can drink,smoke inhale or put into their own body. We see absolutely no headway in the trillion dollar black hole being sucked out of our economy on the pretense of the war on drugs. If they were decriminalized, taxed, regulated much like alcohol then we could see a positive flow of revenue from this. The drug related gangs and cartels would soon diminish as well. It is a win-win situation for the American people BUT just as the big cartels lose, so would DEA,FBI, ATA,Local law enforcement all across the country that has taken millions of dollars in cash and property via the RICO law. So they have zero incentive to do this and would lobby strongly against it. Think about the big picture.

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  • Poodle
    09/03/2017
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    Actually legalizing drugs would get rid of the black market! Spend money on treatment instead of punishment.

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  • Deirdre
    09/01/2017
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    Personally all drugs should be legalized than they can be taxed and money can made. There will always be some people who will do drugs so why not make it a commodity. This would reduce crime, reduce the cost of prisoners in prison and would create jobs and will make money. It would regulated and people wouldn't be dying from getting bad drugs.

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  • Gloria
    09/01/2017
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    Psilocybin has significant medical uses especially in mental health treatment. It is so sad that it was lumped in with other more damaging drugs. People I've spoken with who've taken it say that it has changed their whole outlook on life and helped them to appreciate connecting with others. It also rarely if ever creates regular users, unlike cannabis, and can actually help people reduce their addictive appetites for other drugs. I hope California leads the way in being forward thinking about this drug and its uses.

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  • Loren
    09/02/2017
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    Decriminalize all drugs now.

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