Psychedelic Decriminalization Bill Passes First Hurdle in California Senate

1.5 min readPublished On: April 6th, 2021By

SACRAMENTO – California State Senator Scott Wiener announced earlier today that his legislation to decriminalize psychedelics (#SB519) just passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 4-1 vote.

The Senator said on Twitter:  ‘’Our legislation to decriminalize psychedelics (#SB519) just passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 4-1 vote. Psychedelics have so much promise for people’s health & well-being. We need to move away from a drug criminalization model & toward a health approach.‘’

Senate Bill 519, would decriminalize the use and possession of psilocybin — the hallucinogen in magic mushrooms — psilocyn, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA a.k.a. molly or ecstasy), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine, and mescaline.

Similarly to a previous law signed by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2018 that expunged Cannabis convictions from Californians’ records, Wiener’s bill would also expunge previous convictions for possession or use of psychedelic drugs.

“Let’s embrace science and move past the failed war on drugs,” Wiener said in a Thursday tweet announcing the bill. “Drug use is a health issue, not a criminal issue. And, psychedelics have tremendous health benefits.”

 

(Pictured: Senator Scott Weiner)

Wiener previously tweeted ‘These drugs have been shown to have medicinal value treating depression, PTSD and other conditions.” And, he added, “There’s strong support for ending the failed War on Drugs, which criminalizes communities of color and those suffering from addiction.”

SB 519 follows on similar moves by Oregon, the city of Denver, and the District of Colombia to decriminalize psychedelics. And Oakland City Council voted in 2019 to decriminalize psychedelics that come from plants — like mushrooms, ayahuasca, and peyote.  Wiener’s California bill excludes peyote because of its status as a threatened species.

After this stage of Public Safety Committee’s approval, the legislation next heads to the Senate Health Committee.

 

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