California Psychedelics Decrim Bill Passes Another Committee, With Certain 'Limiting' Amendments

A bill to decriminalize psychedelics substance continues to advance through legislative chambers in California, only this time with amendments that add limits to possession. 

Introduced in February by Sen. Scott Wiener, SB 519, passed the Assembly Public Health Committee in an 8-4 vote on Tuesday just weeks after it was approved by the Public Safety Committee. The bill proposes removing penalties for the possession, personal use, and social sharing of specific psychoactive drugs like psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, LSD, MDMA and mescaline for those 21 and older. 

In order to pass in the newest committee, the bill was amended to include limits on allowable amounts on each of the substancesreported Marijuana Moment.

What Are The Limits?

The committee approved the following limits for the possession of each substance

  • 2 grams of DMT;15 grams of ibogaine;
  • 0.01 grams of LSD;
  • 4 grams of mescaline;
  • 2 grams of the controlled substance psilocybin or 4 ounces of a plant or fungi containing the controlled substance psilocybin;
  • 2 grams of the controlled substance psilocin or 4 ounces of a plant or fungi containing the controlled substance of psilocin;
  • 4 grams of MDMA.

In the previous Assembly panel, Wiener backed a committee amendment to remove ketamine from the list of psychedelics included in the proposal. 

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D), who presented the bill on behalf of Weiner, said ahead of the vote: “Our racist and failed war on drugs and war on drug policy approach has done nothing to make us safer. But it’s led to massive public expenditures, torn apart communities, deeply impacted brown and black communities and did nothing to make drug use safer or reduce overdoses," she said.

“It’s time we stopped this failed mass incarceration strategy and acknowledge that not all substances are harmful or dangerous. In fact, quite the opposite has been found of psychedelics.”

Is This Good Or Bad? Advocates Respond 

A group pushing for psychedelics-related reforms across the U.S., Decriminalize Nature, was not pleased with the new amendments. According to its members, “setting allowable amounts is just a creative way to say when can law enforcement arrest you.”

Communities that have been using these substances without possession limits for centuries have experienced “no negative impacts,” the group argues.

On the other hand, many advocates believe that adding restrictions is the only way for the bill to fully advance and become law.

David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s soap company and financial backer of similar reforms,

said the idea behind this bill is to enable people to legally produce and use these substances as medicine.

 “SB 519 still represents protection of community-based healing and the quantities of medicine involved, which is the crucial goal,” Bronner said.

In addition, the new amendment approved on Tuesday demands the state Department of Public Health create harm reduction education for these substances.

With the full Senate approving the bill last month, its next legislative stop is to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before it reaches the floor of that chamber. If it passes there, it must go back to the Senate for approval on the recent amendments prior to reaching the governor’s desk. 

Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Ott on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsMediaBuffy WicksCalifornia Psychedelics Decriminalization BillDavid BronnerMarijuana MomentSB 519Scott Wiener
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