California bill decriminalizing personal use of psychedelics, magic mushrooms heads to Newsom’s desk
California lawmakers approved a bill decriminalizing the possession and personal use of numerous psychedelics, including ‘magic mushrooms,’ on Thursday.
Senate Bill 58, which passed by a 43-15 vote in the state Assembly on Wednesday and a 21-14 vote in the Senate on Thursday, now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom who will decide the fate of the measure.
If signed into law, the bill would remove the criminal penalties for the possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin, the active ingredients in psychedelic mushrooms, mescaline (excluding peyote) and dimethyltryptamine, or DMT.
The bill does penalize possession of the psychedelics on school grounds, or possession by, or transferring to, people under 21 years of age.
The pro-psychedelic measure would also require the California Health and Human Services Agency to study the therapeutic use of psychedelics and submit a report to the Legislature with recommendations, the bill says.
California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher strongly opposed the bill by arguing that legalizing psychedelics will worsen the crime and homelessness ravaging the Golden State.
‘Crime and homelessness are out of control in California. If Democrats don’t think this will make things worse, they’re hallucinating – no mushrooms needed,’ Gallagher said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
Democrat State Assemblyman Scott Wiener, who introduced the bill, argued that veterans and first responders struggling with PTSD, depression, and addiction ‘deserve access to these promising plant medicines.’
Wiener argued that psychedelics are not addictive and that the U.S. needs to stop criminalizing people who use them.
‘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 in a news release. ‘It’s time to stop criminalizing people who use psychedelics for healing or personal well-being.’
Newsom has until Oct. 14 to approve or veto the bill. If signed, the bill would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.