Psychedelics Decriminalization Bill Passes California Senate Public Safety Committee

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By Perla Brito

SACRAMENTO, CA  – Legislation to decriminalize the possession and personal use of certain psychedelic substances was approved by the California Senate Public Safety Committee in a 3-1 vote this week and headed to the Appropriation Committee.

Psilocybin, psilocyn, Dimethyltryptamine (“DMT”), mescaline (excluding peyote), and ibogaine are the substances included in SB 58, authored by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)

Sen. Wiener’s psychedelics decriminalization bill, SB 519, passed the Senate in 2021. It passed two Assembly Committees but then was killed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Wiener said, “This is a hopeful step for veterans and others suffering from PTSD, depression, and anxiety throughout California. SB 58 takes usage of life-changing medication out of the shadows, allowing our veterans to heal from their service to our country without traveling overseas.”

“This bill also reverses decades of racist and harmful War on Drugs policy. The past century of American drug policy proves without the shadow of a doubt that criminalizing drug use makes everyone less safe,” added Sen. Wiener.

The lawmaker said he believes “Psychedelics have tremendous capacity to help people heal, but right now, using them is a criminal offense.”

“As with cannabis, decriminalization is the first step to implementing a regime of full legalization and access to regulated usage of these promising treatments. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this first step and on that longer term effort,” said the legislator.

About The Author

Perla Brito is a 4th year undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She is majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice and is set to graduate by Spring 2023. After graduation she plans on working at a local police department in the criminal investigations division. She intends to pursue a Masters in Psychology with a focus in Neuroscience in hopes of working on neurocriminology research one day.

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