California could become the first state to legalise magic mushrooms

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California could become the first US state to legalise magic mushrooms, thanks to newly proposed legislation. 

Californians could be able to vote on whether or not to legalise the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms as early as next year. 

The proposed legislation, known as a ballot measure in the US, was filed on Friday with the state Attorney General’s office. 

If the ballot initiative becomes law, voters could choose to decriminalise the use of the psychedelic compound known as “psilocybin” which is found in some types of mushroom. 

The measure would exempt adults over the age of 21 from penalties of possession, selling, transporting or cultivation of psilocybin.

The proposal was filed by Kevin Saunders, a former candidate for mayor in Marina, a city on California’s central coast. 

California already voted to legalise the recreational use of marijuana in the November 2016.

Mr Saunders, who said he used magic mushrooms to help him stop using heroin 15 years ago, said he sees their legalisation as a “natural progression from marijuana legalisation,” according to the Los Angeles Times. 

“I think we’re seeing something that could literally heal our brothers and sisters. We’re talking about real cutting-edge stuff,” he added. 

A recent study found the psilocybin compound could help treat depression in people with terminal or advanced cancer, with just one dose reducing psychological distress.

In the UK, magic mushrooms are still illegal and classified as a Class A drug.

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