LA Times: California bill paves way for psychedelic therapy after failure to legalize ‘magic mushrooms’


The movement to legalize psychedelics in California appears to be entering a new phase, with a focus on incremental steps to permit the drugs in therapeutic settings following failed efforts to pass more sweeping change.

An initiative that sought to ask voters to decriminalize so-called magic mushrooms and products containing psilocybin failed to qualify for the 2024 ballot when it missed last week’s deadline to submit signatures. That followed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto last year of a bill that would have decriminalized a short list of natural psychedelics, including “magic mushrooms.”

Now, the Legislature is considering much narrower approaches. A bill expected to be introduced in the coming weeks will call for legalizing psychedelic-assisted therapy, while a bill that passed the Assembly health committee last week would fund a work group to study the benefits and dangers of psychedelic therapy.

“As we know, California is experiencing a severe mental health crisis,” Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-San Diego) said during the hearing Tuesday.

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