A bill that could see certain psychedelics legalized in California has moved a step closer to becoming law, having cleared a procedural hurdle in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill, proposed by Sen. Scott Wiener, is now set for final action to determine whether it can advance to the Assembly floor. This decision is expected to be made in a committee meeting around September 1.
Despite some initial concerns about the bill’s journey through the Assembly, it has already passed through two committees. If it clears the Assembly, it will return to the Senate for approval on certain amendments before potentially reaching the governor’s desk. The bill, known as SB 58, aims to legalize the possession, preparation, obtaining, transfer, or transportation of specific amounts of psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline for personal or facilitated use. However, synthetic psychedelics like LSD and MDMA would not be legalized under this legislation.
The bill also proposes a repeal of state law prohibiting “any spores or mycelium capable of producing mushrooms or other material which contain psilocybin or psilocyn.” Furthermore, the state ban on drug paraphernalia for the covered substances would be eliminated. The legislation has undergone several changes from its original form. Notably, it excludes synthetic psychedelics and peyote from the list of substances to be legalized. The latter exclusion is in response to concerns raised by advocates and indigenous groups about the risks of over-harvesting the vulnerable cacti.
The bill also no longer includes a provision mandating a study to explore future reforms, as the senator believes there is already a high volume of research being conducted on the subject. The proposed possession limits for the psychedelics are as follows: – DMT—2 grams – Ibogaine—15 grams – Psilocybin—2 grams, or up to 4 ounces of “a plant or fungi containing psilocybin” – Psilocyn—2 grams, or up to 4 ounces of “a plant or fungi containing psilocyn.” It remains unclear whether Gov. Gavin Newsom would support the legislation if it reaches his desk. However, advocates are optimistic about the bill’s prospects, given the increased momentum behind psychedelics reform in states across the country. In related news, a California campaign recently proposed a 2024 ballot initiative that would create a $5 billion state agency to fund and promote psychedelics research. Another campaign has been cleared to gather signatures for a 2024 ballot initiative to legalize the possession, sale, and regulated therapeutic use of psilocybin.