California State Legislature approves bill decriminalizing personal use and cultivation of psychedelic drugs
09/12/2023 // Laura Harris // Views

The California State Assembly has passed a bill decriminalizing the personal use of several psychedelic drugs, including the popular "magic mushrooms." This bill is now expected to be quickly approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The bill successfully cleared the lower house of the California Legislature on Sept. 6 – with 55 members voting in favor, 14 opposing and 22 abstaining. It was initially introduced in the California State Senate by Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco. Before reaching the State Assembly, the bill underwent several amendments – including reducing the allowable amount of the substances and delaying the implementation until 2025.

If Newsom doesn't veto the proposal, the bill would allow Californians 21 years and older to ingest, possess, cultivate or transport one gram each of psilocybin and psilocin, the active ingredients in psychedelic mushrooms. (Related: "Magic mushrooms" may "reboot" the brain, relieving depression, according to new study.)

The bill also decriminalizes the ingestion, possession, cultivation or transportation of up to four grams of mescaline – excluding peyote – and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and one gram of DMT for personal use. The distribution and sharing of these substances remain prohibited.

Moreover, the bill directs the California Health and Human Services Agency to create a team of experts to study how these drugs can be used safely for therapy. The group will analyze whether these drugs can help with problems like PTSD, depression, and addiction. The team will also give policy recommendations on drug distribution, safety, production, access, and use for therapeutic purposes.

"We know these substances are not addictive, and they show tremendous promise in treating many of the most intractable conditions driving our nation’s mental health crisis," Wiener said. "It's time to stop criminalizing people who use psychedelics for healing or personal well-being."

California debates over the healing potential versus safety of psychedelics

Supporters of the bill, including criminal justice reformers, veterans' groups and mental health professionals, argue that psychedelic drugs are nonaddictive and hold potential benefits, especially for individuals dealing with trauma. They emphasize the therapeutic potential of these substances. Conversely, opponents argue that decriminalization could lead to increased drug abuse.

Jesse Gould, a former Army Ranger who benefited from psychedelic therapies abroad to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, acknowledged that the bill had been watered down but still considered it an important first step.

Gould, the founder of Heroic Hearts Project, a nonprofit advocating for veterans to access psychedelic therapies, stated: "This is a huge win in terms of how far it's come and in terms of the bipartisan support. We kind of view California as more of a liberal state, but there was still pretty staunch conservative opposition."

However, the California Coalition for Psychedelic Safety and Education, warned that the proposal would rush decriminalization without putting crucial regulations in place, including safety measures and public education campaigns.

The coalition made it clear that it is not opposed to decriminalization if done safely. For instance, Beth Parket, the leader of the group, began advocating against the bill after a family member died following an adverse reaction to psilocybin.

"She purchased them in Oakland. They came in a brown paper bag with no instructions for dosage. We're very concerned that people can obtain these substances with absolutely no guidance, no warning about the risks, or the downsides or the contraindications," Parket recounted.

Visit for more stories about psychedelic drugs.

Watch the video below to know why psychedelics such as bufotenin are problematic hallucinogens.

This video is from the jroseland channel on

More related stories:

Active ingredient in psychedelic tea puts the brain in a “dream-like state,” shows promise as treatment for psychiatric disorders.

Resetting your brain with psilocybin: Is a mushroom trip the answer to depression?

Magical medical mushrooms? Psychedelics have surprising health benefits, may be next big thing in treating addiction, depression.

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