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The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recently stated that a proposed ballot measure to legalize psilocybin in California would save millions in enforcement costs while generating state and local tax revenue.
On the other hand, officials also lowered expectations by stating that establishing the regulatory scheme for a legal psilocybin market could cost millions but could “eventually be partially or fully offset by fee revenue.”
The majority of the LAO report published on Wednesday describes the main provisions of Decriminalize California’s psychedelics reform project, which activists hope to set for voters on the November 2022 ballot.
Oregon voters were first to approve an initiative to legalize entheogen for therapeutic use last year. Which would mark California’s policy change as a somewhat historic one, marking it the first state to broadly legalize psilocybin mushrooms for medical and recreational purposes.
The Calfornia Psilocybin Initiative is said to legalize the “personal, medical, therapeutic, religious, spiritual, and dietary use of Psilocybin Mushrooms” for adults 21 and older. Additionally, the initiative would allow for retail sales, social sharing, cultivation, and on-site substance consumption.
LAO stated that the measure “would reduce ongoing costs to the state and local governments by reducing the number of people convicted of psilocybin offenses incarcerated in state prison and county jail, as well as the number placed under community supervision (such as county probation).”
“In addition, the measure would result in a reduction in state and local costs for the enforcement of psilocybin-related offenses and the handling of related criminal cases in the state court system,” it announced. “In total, the reduction in costs would likely not exceed a few million dollars annually.”
The office closed by stating how money saved from enforcing the current criminalization of psychedelics “would likely be redirected to other law enforcement, corrections, and court activities.”
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