The California Senate on Monday approved a bill to legalize possession of psychedelics, including LSD, DMT, MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, ibogaine, mescaline, and ketamine. The proposal has already cleared three committees in the House, which must still approve the bill before it moves to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson for final approval.
The bill, which passed 21-16, does not decriminalize the sale of any of the psychedelic substances but does include the repeal of crimes related to cultivation and transport of psilocybin mushroom spores
The measure was introduced by state Sen. Scott Weiner (D), who said during the floor vote that it was “time to move away from failed drug criminalization policies and toward a science- and health-based approach.”
“The War on Drugs has failed us, and criminalizing these substances doesn’t make anyone safer. … Psychedelics show great promise in helping people deal with complex trauma, depression, anxiety, and addiction.” Weiner on the Senate floor via Courthouse News
The version passed by the Senate also removed criminal reform language, which would have allowed expungement and sealing of previous psychedelic possession crimes. It does include provisions requiring the state Department of Public Health to examine possible legalization of the substances and their use in certain context, such as for therapeutic purposes.
Santa Cruz and Oakland have already decriminalized the personal possession and use of some psychedelics.
During the 2020 General Election, Oregon voters approved initiatives to decriminalize all drugs and legalize psilocybin therapy – the first state in the nation to approve such reforms. Voters in Washington, D.C. also approved a measure to decriminalize all psychedelic plants.
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