Story at a glance
- Due to studies highlighting the drug’s therapeutic benefits, California legislators aim to decriminalize magic mushrooms.
- “But we know that psychedelics can be used safely. We know they appear to have significant medicinal uses” Assemblymember Wiener, the bill’s author, said.
California may be the next U.S. state to soften restrictions on psychedelic drugs, as one state legislator introduced a measure to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms and other psychedelics.
Sen. Scott Wiener (D), a San Francisco lawmaker, intends on introducing a decriminalization bill into the California State Legislature next year, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
This is a first step in a larger scheme to decriminalize other drugs through the implementation of safe-injection sites as well as eliminating minimum sentencing requirements for drug offenses.
“The war on drugs has been a disaster, in terms of bloating law enforcement, tearing apart communities, criminalizing addiction and spending enormous amounts of money on prisons,” Wiener said. “We need to end the war on drugs. Possession of drugs should just not be a crime.”
Other Assembly members who have supported Wiener’s bill include Evan Low (D) and Sydney Kamlager (D).
Momentum has been steadily rising for the movement to decriminalize some drugs, including psychedelics. An influential study noted that there is evidence suggesting psilocybin, a naturally occurring chemical found in select types of mushrooms, is effective at treating severe depression.
Cities that have already taken the step to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms include Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C. In Oregon, voters passed a new measure allowing psilocybin in monitored therapeutic trials.
Wiener’s legislative push intends to emphasize the therapeutic uses of select drugs.
“Any substance can be harmful, so I’m not suggesting that anything is like nirvana,” he said. “But we know that psychedelics can be used safely. We know they appear to have significant medicinal uses.”