California senators approve bill to legalize psychedelics in committee

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The opening to psychedelics is advancing in California. While some cities across the state have already passed decriminalization of the personal use of psychedelics, a Senate committee has approved a bill to legalize the possession of certain psychedelics and make it easier to use these substances.

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill, which was reintroduced in December after a broader version was defeated last session, was approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee in a 3-way vote. vote against 1, last Tuesday, and will then be submitted to the Finance Committee.

The measure would legalize the “possession, preparation, procurement, transfer, as specified, or transportation” of specific amounts of psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline for personal use or convenience. “Synthetic” psychedelics like LSD and MDMA would not be legalized.

Peyote is also excluded from the list of legalized substances in the bill, in part because of the risks of overexploitation of this vulnerable cactus used for ceremonial purposes by some indigenous peoples of California.

The “licensed quantity” section of the bill provides the following limits for the possession of psychedelics:

  • DMT: 2 grams
  • Ibogaine: 15 grams
  • Psilocybin and psilocin: 2 grams, or up to 4 ounces (112 grams) of a plant or mushroom containing it

Besides legalizing personal possession, the bill also makes specific provisions for “group counseling and community healing” involving entheogenic substances.

It would also repeal the state law prohibiting “any spore or mycelium capable of producing mushrooms or other material containing psilocybin or psilocin.”

“These are not addictive drugs. And these are drugs that have significant potential to help people navigate and become healthy who have mental health issues, substance use issues,” Senator Wiener said at Tuesday’s hearing. .

“We know that cities in California and elsewhere have passed resolutions to rank the enforcement of these particular criminal laws as the lowest law enforcement priority,” he added. “This is an important milestone for California. It’s about making sure people have access to the substances they need that aren’t addictive. »

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