Alliance Launches New Coalition for Increased Public Education and Pathways to Access Psychedelics in California, Supporting Legislation 

By Maeve O’Brien 

SACRAMENTO, CA – A new coalition, The Alliance for Safer Use of Psychedelics (ASUP), has recently announced its plan to promote the access, research, and public education about the risks and benefits of psychedelics in California.

The alliance, in a statement, said ASUP supports Senate Bill 1012 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-SF) and Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Valley Center), providing a public-private fund for public health education and mental health professionals, encouraging the safer use of psychedelics.

In addition, the alliance said it has been working with the Coalition for Psychedelic Safety and Education (CPSE) to establish factual information through a public health education pilot campaign “to provide accurate, evidence-based, and balanced information that acknowledges the potential benefits of psychedelics, while educating people on potential risks, harms, and safety practices to increase well-informed, safer decision-making related to their use.”

As noted in the released statement, the alliance, in conjunction with the pilot campaign, aims to gain the support of California policymakers to back future investments in public education programs. Leaders of CPSE have lost loved ones due to psychedelics and feel strongly about the importance of Senate Bill 1012. 

With its emphasis on public health education and professional oversight, SB 1012 paves the way for informed and responsible psychedelic use in California. Without safety nets and robust education to inform of risks, the unregulated use of psychedelics is rising in the state and causing an increase in hospitalizations due to adverse effects,” the statement by ASUP asserts. 

The alliance also includes veterans’ organizations, specifically Heroic Hearts Project (HHP), and Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS), aiding those suffering from PTSD.

“Psychedelics have shown promise in helping people with PTSD and other conditions that impact Veterans and their families. These groups help connect Veterans to facilitated psychedelic care outside of the United States and in states where it is currently legal,” ASUP said in its statement. 

Public health expert and member of CPSE, Kristin Nash, founded the William G. Nash Foundation after losing her son from psilocybin four years ago.

“This Alliance and the work it is supporting…are urgently needed…our understanding of risks is limited, and what we know has been poorly communicated to the public, if at all. We need a more balanced, realistic, and nuanced understanding of psychedelics among the interested public,” Nash said. 

Jesse Gould, Heroic Hearts Project Founder, emphasized the need for veterans to access psychedelics that can relieve their PTSD, anxiety and depression, stating, “Our vets shouldn’t have to leave the state or the country to receive facilitated access to psychedelics. The Alliance’s work will be crucial in making sure this access comes to California and veterans can get the help they need.”

Executive Director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Lt. Diane Goldstein, also reflected on the effect PTSD and other mental health struggles can have on first responders, noting, “We’re happy to be part of this new Alliance to make facilitated access to psychedelics and education about these substances a reality in California for those who need it most.”

About The Author

Maeve O'Brien is a second-year UC Davis student, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Human Rights. By joining the Vanguard Court watch, Maeve hopes to expand her journalistic skills, while gaining first-hand experience and perspective. She hopes to carry her passion for social justice advocacy and equity into Law School. She is inspired to be a voice for those undermined by everyday injustice. In her free time, Maeve enjoys swimming, yoga, writing, and spending time with friends and family.

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