Article – Wired: California Nixes a Bill to Decriminalize Plant-Based Psychedelics

Here is their take.

Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed Senate Bill 58, which would have allowed adults to possess small amounts of mescaline, DMT, and psilocybin, the hallucinogen in magic mushrooms.

OVER THE WEEKEND, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 58 (SB 58), nixing the state’s attempt to become one of a handful that are loosening restrictions on plant-based hallucinogens. The legislation was an effort to increase access to psychedelic therapy and remove penalties for people seeking these drugs.

The bill would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts (4 grams) of certain plant-based psychedelics for adults over the age of 21: mescaline, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and psilocybin, the hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms. The bill also would have allowed possession of related drug paraphernalia and the home cultivation of psilocybin-containing mushrooms for personal use.

State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced the bill in late 2022, and believes it would have improved mental healthcare without affecting public safety. “Should we be threatening people with arrest and incarceration for using mushrooms? Of course we should not,” says Weiner. “If you want drugs to be unsafe, the most effective thing you can do is criminalize them and push everyone within the shadows where they’re where they’re less likely to ask for information and help.”

In a letter explaining his decision, Newsom wrote: “Psychedelics have proven to relieve people suffering from certain conditions such as depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other addictive personality traits. This is an exciting frontier and California will be on the front-end of leading it.” But, he continued, the state would first need “regulated treatment guidelines” that include dosing information, rules to protect patients from being exploited during treatment, and ways to make sure they have no underlying psychoses. “Unfortunately,” he continued, “this bill would decriminalize possession prior to these guidelines going into place, and I cannot sign it.”

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