California Governor Rejects Bill That Would Decriminalize Some Psychedelics

California Governor Rejects Bill That Would Decriminalize Some Psychedelics

( – California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed an attempt to decriminalize psychedelic drugs in the Golden State. The legislation aimed to end criminal penalty for possession and personal use of natural psychedelics, as well as require the state to initiate a formal study of their therapeutic benefits. Newsom said more needs to be done before he can agree to decriminalize the drugs.

In his statement informing lawmakers of the veto, Governor Newsom said California must first “set up regulated treatment guidelines,” including dosage information, guidance on therapeutic elements, and confirmation of “medical clearance of no underlying psychoses.” He said he could not allow the proposals to become law until that is achieved.

State Senator Scott Wiener introduced the bill in 2022 and argued that it would help undo the “harms” caused by America’s war on drugs. According to reports, he referred to the psychedelic substances as “promising plant medicines,” and said they are an effective treatment for depression and trauma suffered by veterans and emergency first responders. “It’s time to stop criminalizing people who use psychedelics for healing or personal well-being,” Wiener said.

Jesse Gould, who completed three military tours of Afghanistan, agreed with the Senator and said psychedelics helped him, and other veterans, cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said decriminalization would prevent veterans from having to choose between their lives and being viewed as criminals.

Law enforcement organizations lobbied against the proposals, saying they could prompt a surge in crime. Lawmakers from both parties were divided, and some abstained from the vote.

While LSD and MDMA are frequently categorized as psychedelics, these specific drugs were omitted from the legislative proposals, leaving only plant-based alternatives such as “magic mushrooms.” That term describes various species of fungus that contain psilocybin – a psychedelic compound that is said to alter moods and reduce the effects of depression and anxiety. Experts say it enhances vision and physical sensations and lasts around three to six hours.

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