California Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Legalize Magic Mushrooms, Other Psychedelics

California Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Legalize Magic Mushrooms, Other Psychedelics

A California Democratic lawmaker introduced a bill Dec. 19 to decriminalize the personal use of plant-based psychedelic drugs — such as magic mushrooms, mescaline and psilocybin — off school grounds for people 21 and older.

“Criminalizing drug use and possession does nothing but fill our prisons with addicts,” said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author. “We need to treat drug use as a health issue rather than a crime.”

Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the author of Senate Bill (SB) 58, said outside the state Capitol on Dec. 19 that psychedelics — a type of hallucinogenic drug — “hold great promise” when it comes to helping them. suffer from mental health problems such as opioid addiction, depression, anxiety and PTSD.

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Senator Scott Wiener speaks before the California State Senate on August 31, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Senate)

SB 58 would also allow the cultivation, transfer or transportation of mushrooms or other plant-based materials that could serve as ingredients for these drugs, according to its text.

The bill may be heard on or after January 16, 2023.

These drugs affect the way people see, hear, taste, smell or feel and can profoundly affect the user’s mood and thinking, sometimes resulting in psychosis, according to existing academic studies.

One veteran, Michael Young, said at the press conference that he came home to the United States with severe PTSD after 10 years of counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Psychedelics help heal invisible wounds from my years of service in the war on terror,” he said. “This holy potion showed me how to unite again.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, hallucinogens “can cause users to see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but are not.” According to the institute, the effects of ingesting psychedelics usually begin within 20 to 90 minutes and can last up to 12 hours in some cases or up to 15 minutes in others.

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Magic mushrooms sit in a refrigerator in London, England, on July 18, 2005. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

SB 58 is a relatively moderate version of an earlier bill proposed by Wiener but failed to pass in 2021, which would have legalized not only plant-based psychedelics, but also synthetic ones such as MDMA, LSD and ketamine.

Although it is rare for someone to die from an LSD overdose, “serious injury and death have occurred as an indirect result of LSD use, in that accidents, self-mutilation, and suicide have occurred … when people mostly are not aware of what they are doing,” according to the American Addiction Centers.

The Heroic Hearts Project — a co-sponsor of SB 519 of 2021 and the psychedelic advocacy group for veterans struggling with PTSD — said “psychedelic treatment options have given these veterans a level of relief and healing that many had believed was no longer possible defeated.”

Several law enforcement groups opposed the 2021 bill, including the California Association of College and University Chiefs of Police, the California District Attorney’s Association, the California Narcotics Officers Association, the California Association of Chiefs of Police, the of California State Sheriffs, California Law Enforcement Association and Peace Officers. California Research Association, among other organizations.

The California Peace Officers Research Association “believes that many of the convictions associated with controlled substances act as a deterrent or a reason for individuals to get the treatment they need to turn their lives around,” according to a statement from objection submitted to the state. The Health Committee of the Assembly in July 2021.

“For more, [the association] believes this bill will cause an increase in the sale and personal use of drugs, which will lead to more crime and arrests in our communities,” the statement said.

Under the CURES Act, signed into law in 2016 to expand medical innovation, many hallucinogenic substances—including LSD, DMT, mescaline, and psilocybin—are classified as Schedule 1 substances, meaning they pose a high risk of abuse and are not accepted for medicine. use.

In September, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion asking law enforcement to deprioritize investigations and arrests of adults found in possession of psychedelics. This was a month after an Oakland church using magic mushrooms as its form of communion was raided by police.

Jamie Joseph

Jamie is a California-based reporter covering Los Angeles issues and state politics for The Epoch Times. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels and thrillers, going to the beach, studying Christian theology, and writing poetry. You can always find Jamie writing the latest news with a cup of tea in hand.

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