CA Considers Legalizing Drug For Therapeutic Use

California could soon decide whether to make it legal for people to consume psychedelic mushrooms as long as they’re under the supervision of a professional.

Two California lawmakers introduced a new bill on Tuesday that would allow people who are at least 21 years of age to consume these drugs under certain circumstances. It’s part of the state’s push to tackle substance abuse and mental health crises, they said.

Last year, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would’ve treated many hallucinogens that are plant-based — such as these psychedelic mushrooms — like marijuana in the state. In other words, the drugs would’ve been decriminalized in terms of possession as well as personal usage.

Newsom was a champion of legal cannabis back in 2016, but he didn’t like the text of the bill that was brought to him, and asked state lawmakers to further work on the regulations and guidelines for the therapeutic.

This time around, state Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblywoman Marie Waldron joined for a bipartisan proposal to allow people to consume what’s known as psilocybin as long as they do so while being supervised by a licensed therapist.

Psilocybin is the component of psychedelic mushrooms that is hallucinogenic. In addition to that drug, the bill would treat mescaline, MDMA and DMT in the same fashion.

California actually wouldn’t be the first state to make this move, as Oregon and Colorado have decriminalized the drugs already. In addition, the California cities of Santa Cruz, Oakland and San Francisco have done the same.

During a news briefing on Monday, Wiener, a Democrat, said

“We know that Californians are struggling with mental health and addiction challenges, and we know that psychedelics, particularly when combined with therapeutic support, can be a powerful tool to help people get their health back. We know that California veterans and first responders have particularly benefited from these substances, and know that many more people can as well.”

The lawmaker further said that this new bill that he introduced aligned with the vision Newsom had by putting safeguards in place for psychedelic therapy. Before a person would be allowed to consume the drugs, they’d have to go through comprehensive screening, which would determine whether they’d be fit for the therapy in the first place.

Waldron added that if the bill were to be passed, it would signal a shift in California’s response to its mental health crisis from punishment to actual assistance.

What the bill doesn’t allow for is people to use the drug for recreational purposes. People wouldn’t be able to just buy the drug and take it home. They could only be used in specific circumstances and in particular settings.

In many ways, it would be distributed to them as shots are in a doctor’s office.

Even if California were to legalize the practice, the drugs would still be considered illegal from a federal standpoint, much in the same way that cannabis is.