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CA senate passes bill to decriminalize psychedelics

A vendor bags psilocybin mushrooms at a pop-up cannabis market in Los Angeles in 2019. (Richard Vogel/AP Photo)

A bill that would decriminalize the possession of substances such as mushrooms and LSD passed the state Senate this week. Take our survey.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — California came another inch closer to decriminalizing psychedelic drugs after the state Senate passed Bill 519 on Wednesday. The bill, authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), heads to the Assembly next.

“We just had a huge win,” Wiener said Wednesday. “This is a big step for this legislation and our movement to end the war on drugs and to take a more health- and science-based approach and to move away from the criminalization of drugs.”

Possessing psychedelics would hold no legal consequence as soon as next year. If it passes the Assembly and is signed into law, the bill would legalize following drugs for those 21 and older: mushrooms (psilocybin), DMT, ibogaine, mescaline, LSD, ketamine, MDMA and more.

Over the last several years, mounting evidence from researchers has found that psilocybin, the hallucinogenic component of so-called “magic” mushrooms and similar drugs, could be used to treat depression and anxiety.

“These drugs have been shown to have medicinal value treating depression, PTSD and other conditions,” Wiener said earlier.

If the bill becomes law, the Golden State would join Oregon, where residents voted last year to decriminalize and ultimately legalize psilocybin. The District of Columbia also voted to decriminalize the compound.

“There’s strong support for ending the failed war on drugs, which criminalizes communities of color and those suffering from addiction,” Wiener tweeted in November. “People need treatment, not prison.”

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Published: June 02, 2021

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