Ballot Initiative to Legalize 'Magic Mushrooms' Clears First Hurdle

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Last year, California voters legalized recreational marijuana by passing Prop 64 by the huge margin of 56% to 44%. And now, one activist wants to take 'magic mushrooms' on the same trip. 

A ballot initiative that would exempt Californians over the age of 21 from a state law that criminalizes mushrooms containing the psychoactive compound, psilocybin has been given the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures to qualify it for a future ballot. 

Kevin Saunders, the activist behind the initiative, says he once kicked a heroin habit with the help of a mushroom trip in Death Valley. 

“There is a cultural fascination with mushrooms that goes really deep,” Saunders told The Hill. “The soccer moms are all pretty much, for lack of a better term, high now, and some of them are taking mushrooms.”

Psilocybin is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law which means the government considers it ripe for potential abuse and has no widely accepted medical use. Other schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and bath salts. 

Marijuana is also still classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, despite the fact that dozens of states have some kind of medical marijuana program in place. 

To qualify for the ballot, Saunders will have to collect at least 365,000 valid signatures. If voters approve the measure, California would become the first state in the nation to legalize such hallucinogens. 

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