Just think, everybody: In the next year we might see both to-go cocktails and psychedelic drugs legalized in California, which both point to some major post-pandemic party times.
On Thursday in the California Senate, Senator Scott Wiener introduced Bill 519, which would decriminalize the use and possession of psilocybin — the hallucinogen in magic mushrooms — psilocyn, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA a.k.a. molly or ecstasy), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine, and mescaline. Like a previous law signed by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2018 that expunged marijuana convictions from Californians' records, Wiener's bill would also expunge previous convictions for possession or use of psychedelic drugs.
"Let’s embrace science & move past the failed war on drugs," Wiener said in a Thursday tweet announcing the bill. "Drug use is a health issue, not a criminal issue. And, psychedelics have tremendous health benefits."
Wiener also thanked two sponsors of the bill, the Heroic Hearts Project and VETS (Vets Exploring Treatment Solutions), two nonprofits that help get veterans mental health treatment for trauma. "So many veterans struggle with mental health challenges [and] psychedelics are helping them," Wiener said.
Wiener previously tweeted a pledge to introduce such a bill back in November, saying, "These drugs have been shown to have medicinal value treating depression, PTSD [and] other conditions." And, he added, "There’s strong support for ending the failed War on Drugs, which criminalizes communities of color [and] those suffering from addiction."
I introduced legislation (#SB519) to decriminalize psychedelic drugs (use & possession) in CA.— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) February 18, 2021
Let’s embrace science & move past the failed war on drugs. Drug use is a health issue, not a criminal issue. And, psychedelics have tremendous health benefits. https://t.co/VtDrUJKdLM
SB 519 follows on similar moves by Oregon, the city of Denver, and the District of Colombia to decriminalize psychedelics. And here in the Bay Area, the Oakland City Council voted in 2019 to decriminalize psychedelics that come from plants — like mushrooms, ayahuasca, and peyote.
But Wiener's bill specifically excludes peyote because of its status as a threatened species.
On Thursday, Wiener was also busy introducing a package of housing bills, with housing development and up-zoning being two of his most urgent concerns.
California YIMBY praised the bills, which are SB-10, a bill that would give cities a quick way to up-zone areas for 10-unit buildings; SB 478, the Housing Opportunity Act, which he says "stops cities from using restrictive square footage [and] lot size mandates to prevent small multi-unit buildings (2-10 units) on land zoned for multi-unit"; and SB 477, the Housing Data Act, which "requires much broader data collection on how CA’s housing laws are being implemented locally, so we can track implementation [and] see what’s working [and] what’s not."
Wiener previously introduced another housing bill, SB 234, which "allocates $100 million for new housing for our most at-risk youth — those exiting homelessness, exiting foster care, & exiting the criminal justice system."
Photo: Pretty Drugthings