City officials in Berkeley, California have advanced a proposal to decriminalize psychedelics, Marijuana Moment reports. The Berkeley Community Health Commission passed the measure unanimously on Tuesday and the resolution now moves to the City Council for consideration.
In a break from other decriminalization proposals around the U.S., the Berkeley measure would apply to some synthetic psychedelics including LSD but not naturally occurring entheogenic substances like peyote or ibogaine.
But while the resolution would decriminalize simple possession, advocates who originally pushed for the reforms oppose certain parts of the resolution, the report said — namely, the omission of language deprioritizing law enforcement efforts against the gifting and sharing of psychedelics among adults. City officials noted that they had removed language to that effect so as to avoid nurturing an unregulated, gray market for psychedelics:
“In these gray markets, we see enterprising entrepreneurs opening commercial operations such as delivery services (advertised with fliers and posters), storefront dispensaries, pop-ups, and outdoor market booths, sometimes asking for ‘suggested donations,’ and sometimes not bothering at all with the pretense that they are merely ‘giving away’ the substances.” — Berkeley Community Health Commission report excerpt
The California state Senate advanced a bill earlier this year to legalize the possession of psychedelics but the General Assembly ultimately gutted the proposal and its sponsor pulled the bill, promising to try again next year.
Meanwhile, woters in Oregon opted to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and establish a medicinal industry in 2020. And just last month, Colorado passed its own statewide legalization measure for psychedelic mushrooms.
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