Are you confused by the latest information pertaining to California’s potentially new law surrounding the decriminalization of psychedelic drugs? Stress no more as we’re about to breakdown everything you need to know about the bill and what it means for California’s psychedelic future.
Senate Bill 519
First things first, this bill does not decriminalize the selling of psychedelic drugs, so let’s get that out of the way. It does, however, make the possession of psychedelic substances – such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, MDMA, and ketamine – legal, provided a person is 21 years of age or older. The bill also contains legislation that would establish – through California’s Department of Public Health – a task force focused on researching and better understanding the effects of psychedelic drugs, which would then in turn be used to inform the future policies that would be created for them.
Most recently, the bill passed in the California State Senate, and now needs to be approved by the California State Assembly before it can be signed into law.
Supporters Of The Bill
Those who support SB 519 say its passage would be a step toward ending the war on drugs, and that passing the bill will help encourage further exploration of psychedelic drugs through health based studies and scientific research. This would help society move away from relying on the criminal justice system when dealing with matters of psychedelics, and will pave the way for psychedelic drugs to be used for treatment of mental health issues, which existing research has shown psychedelics effectively treat. The biggest issue the bill highlights – according to its advocates – is how it would stop the incarceration of people for psychedelic drug possession, and would instead help free up and focus criminal justice resources on more pressing matters.
Those Against The Bill
Opponents of the bill fear that the bill’s good intentions stretch the window of what will be classified as “treatment,” and will instead include openings for people to experiment with psychedelics for their own personal use. Yeah, duh! That’s what happens when you decriminalize possession. People will use. But we’re talking about a very helpful substance here, and when in mushroom form, something from the earth. The case studies show that the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic medicine are off the charts, and we’re only just now beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible with them.
What Happens If The Bill Passes?
If SB 519 ultimately passes, California will follow other states like Oregon in leading the nation in psychedelic drug possession decriminalization. This means there will no longer be fines or imprisonment for using psychedelic drugs in California, again provided you are a consumer of age (21 or older).
The other thing that will happen is other states who admire California’s progressive values will take note, and we could see a psychedelic wave across the United States where other states and cities start to decriminalize psychedelics for personal use, ultimately helping to push forward one element of criminal justice reform on a nationwide scale.
Now, the waiting game. Since the bill was drafted in and passed by the California State Senate, the bill now moves to the other house – the California State Assembly – where it must undergo the same treatment it endured in the State Senate in order to be passed. Should the bill pass in the California State Assembly, it would then need to work out any differences before heading to the Governor, where it’s expected that current California Governor Gavin Newsom would support this bill. So sit tight, because legal tripping might be here before you know it.