The California Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday passed the Senate-approved psychedelic decriminalization bill, the Associated Press reports. The version approved by the committee includes psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, mescaline (excluding peyote), LSD, and MDMA but does not include ketamine due to concerns over its use as a “date-rape drug.”
Committee Chairman Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) said including ketamine in the legislation “would have just confused what [lawmakers] want to get accomplished.”
The bill allows for “social sharing” of psychedelics by adults 21-and-older and eliminates the state ban on cultivating or transporting psychedelic mushroom spores.
Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat and bill sponsor, said the bill works towards ending the War on Drugs that, he said, “has made us less safe because people use in the shadows” and described opposition to the reforms as “the psychedelic equivalent of ‘Reefer Madness,’ that this is going to do all sorts of horrible things.
“And that is just not true,” he said in the report.
The bill also includes language to end abstention messaging in state drug and alcohol programs.
The cities of Oakland and Santa Cruz, California have already decriminalized some psychedelics derived from plants and fungi. Denver, Colorado was the first-in-the-nation to decriminalize psilocybin more than two years ago. Since then, Washington, D.C.; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts passed similar measures.
During the 2020 General Election, Oregon voters approved a ballot question to decriminalize all drugs.
The bill moves next to the chamber’s Health Committee before a potential floor vote.
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