California is diving into the innovative world of psychedelics with the introduction of a new statewide ballot initiative that could create a $5 billion agency to fund research studies on the potential therapeutic and recreational applications of psychedelics. If passed, the agency would help facilitate greater access to these substances for Californians of all backgrounds. It is no surprise that the State of California – a hotbed of progressive legislation – is taking the next step toward exploring psychedelics for their potential health benefits.
1. California to Establish New Psychedelics Agency
California is taking an unprecedented step to explore the potential of legalizing psychedelic drugs for therapeutic and recreational use. Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order establishing the California Psilocybin Advisory Board, a new agency tasked with exploring the development of psychedelics regulations in the state.
The Board will comprise of a diverse range of experts in the psychedelic industry, including mental health practitioners, researchers, non-profits and traditional health professionals. They will collaborate to create a framework for policy-makers to safely regulate psychedelics for therapeutic and recreational use. The focus of this effort will include:
- Research: Investing in clinical and scientific research to better understand the effects and potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics.
- Education: Developing educational programs for mental health professionals to understand how to safely work with psychedelics.
- Regulations: Establishing a framework for policy-makers to safely regulate the use of psychedelics for therapeutic and recreational purposes.
This new California Psilocybin Advisory Board marks a shift in thinking about psychedelics, and is seen as a major step towards making psychedelics more widely accessible and accepted. The Board will also help ensure that psychedelics are used responsibly and safely, helping silences the stigma associated with them.
2. $5 Billion Set Aside for Research and Access
The world’s fight against COVID-19 requires substantial allocations of funds for research and access to treatments. To this end, the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) has set aside $5 billion USD to support these efforts. This overall allocation will cover the following areas:
- Research into treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics
- Ensuring access to the above treatments and diagnostics
- Purchase of medical supplies
- Appealing for donations directly from governments
The $5 billion will enable researchers to manage drug testing and trials, and to keep up with the COVID-19 pandemic, on a global basis. Moreover, the funds will help to ensure people from all backgrounds can access treatments without the barrier of inadequate finances. This will ensure the safety of those with vulnerable and weaker immune systems, and is an essential part of fighting the virus.
3. The Potential for Psychedlics-Based Therapies
Psychedelic-based therapies hold great potential to alleviate mental health issues and improve well-being. These include the use of psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin. In clinical settings, these substances are often combined with psychotherapy and other supportive therapies for the treatment of a range of mental health issues.
Studies show that with proper support, psychedelics have the potential to offer a positive therapeutic experience. Researchers have found that they can reduce anxiety and depression, improve psychological functioning, and even potentially reverse substance misuse issues. Furthermore, they can help to reset cognitive processes in the brain while increasing creativity, intuition and insight. Ultimately, they have the potential to promote psychological growth, improved physical and emotional health, and overall well-being.
4. Voting on the California Ballot Initiative
As we’ve all heard, November 3 brings with it the opportunity to make our voices heard in the California Ballot Initiative. Voting is a right and a privilege that should never be taken for granted, too often have people had their rights silenced. Make sure you do your research and educate yourself on the different initiatives before you drop that ballot into the box.
When you do head to the polls, you’ll be voting on a variety of initiatives. These include:
- AB5: A new law that governs how companies like ride-sharing companies handle their contract workers.
- Proposition 21: A new law that would give local governments the power to enact rent control on certain issue.
- Proposition 25: A ballot initiative that will replace the state’s bail system with an algorithm-driven risk assessment system.
Show up to the polls on November 3 and make sure your opinion is heard!
The California ballot initiative launches a historic effort to understand psychological and therapeutic healing through psychedelics. It forms a large-scale investment in the field and a promise to become a leader in research on the world’s psychedelic medicines. By creating access to psychedelics for research and potentially for therapeutic purposes, the initiative opens up new possibilities to explore a potential new form of healing.