A bill to decriminalize psychedelics in California and create a working group to study broader reform advanced through a Senate committee on Tuesday. The panel also approved separate legislation to allow communities in the state to temporarily open safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.
The Senate Public Safety Committee approved the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), by a vote of 4-1. If enacted into law, it would remove criminal penalties for possessing or sharing a wide range of psychedelics—including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine, LSD and MDMA—for adults 21 and older.
The measure would also provide for the expungements of prior convictions for offenses that it makes lawful.
The state Department of Public Health would be required to establish a working group “to study and make recommendations regarding possible regulatory systems that California could adopt to promote safe and equitable access to certain substances in permitted legal contexts,” according to the bill text. Those recommendations would be due by January 1, 2024.
The bill has undergone several revisions since being introduced in February. Some changes are technical in nature, while others are more substantive, including one that would align state laws on CBD and psychedelics with federal statute if the substances are removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Another expands the definition of drug paraphernalia used in connection with psychedelics that would no longer carry criminal penalties if possessed by adults.
For psilocybin, the legislation would repeal provisions in California statute that prohibit the cultivation or transportation of “any spores or mycelium capable of producing mushrooms or other material” that contain the psychoactive ingredient.
Published: April 06, 2021
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