A California bill to remove penalties on psychedelic substances was approved by the state senate in a 21-16 vote on Wednesday.
“We just had a huge win. SB519 passed the full state senate, and is now on its way to the assembly,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, in a Twitter statement.
If approved, the bill would remove penalties for the possession, personal use and social sharing of certain natural and synthetic psychoactive drugs including psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, ibogaine, mescaline, LSD, ketamine and MDMA.
The original legislation included measures to expunge the criminal records of those charged with low-level psychedelics convictions. However, the approved bill was amended to remove those provisions, reported Marijuana Moment.
“A big step for this legislation and for our movement to end the war on drugs and to take a more health and science-based approach, moving away from the criminalization of drugs,” Wiener said.
In an interview with Benzinga, the senator added that he is in favor of full drug decriminalization and that this measure is a first step toward that goal.
“Until we get there, we know that psychedelics have huge promise in treating mental health and addiction problems, and so we want to stop criminalizing people for using these substances, whether it's for a spiritual or recreational use or for a health issue,” Wiener said.
The bill would also mandate the State Department of Public Health to set up a working group to evaluate whether to fully legalize and regulate psychedelics in the future. The group would give its recommendation to the legislature.
Image by ShonEjai on Pixabay
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