California Psychedelics Legalization Advocates Push for 2026 Ballot Initiative

in Culture

Psychedelics policy reform advocates in California are calling for a ballot initiative to legalize certain drugs including psilocybin and MDMA after legislative attempts at change failed to cross the finish line two years in a row.

Last year, California lawmakers approved a bill from Democratic state Senator Scott Wiener that would have allowed regulated access to certain psychedelic substances. However, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed the legislation in October, calling on the legislature to instead pass regulations to govern the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs.

Wiener responded earlier this year with a new bill he co-authored with several Senate colleagues to regulate the therapeutic use of psychedelics. But that measure is now apparently dead for the legislative session after a Senate committee failed to advance the bill earlier this month. After two unsuccessful bids at psychedelics reform in the legislature, advocates for change including Wiener are considering a ballot initiative to allow voters to decide the issue.

“We are not giving up, whether that means introducing a new bill or ballot measure, this issue is not going away,” Wiener told KQED public television news after the bill’s demise. “We know these substances are helping people turn their lives around.”

Wiener said that the psychedelics legalization ballot measure would likely appear on the ballot for the 2026 general election. He added that he may also return to the legislature with another bill, noting that both avenues of change can be pursued simultaneously.

Psychedelics advocates are considering whether a potential ballot measure should be broader than the bill to regulate the therapeutic use of the drugs sought by Newsom and are looking to the governor to take a leadership position on the issue.

“We hope Governor Newsom puts his action where his mouth is. He’s the one that suggested this bill. …

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Author: A.J. Herrington / High Times

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