California Bill to Legalize Psychedelic Possession to Be Advanced to Senate Floor

June 1, 2021 12:05:17

A measure to legalize the possession of psychedelic substances in the state of California may soon advance to the Senate. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, has already been approved by two policy committees. However, it will need to be approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee so that it can be added to the Senate calendar.

It was cleared by the panel in a 5-to-2 vote. The full chamber may begin debates on the reform initiative by June 4. If it is approved, the initiative will be advanced to the Assembly, and then possibly to the governor’s office.

If the measure is enacted into law, it would remove the criminal penalties imposed on individuals aged 21 and above who are found guilty of the possession of psychedelics such as MDMA, LSD, ibogaine, DMT and magic mushrooms. Prior to amendments, the bill had included a clause that focused on resentencing and record-sealing provisions for individuals who had been convicted of possession offenses.

Under the legislation, the state’s Department of Public Health would need to establish a group whose purpose would be to research and make recommendations on potential regulatory systems that the state could adopt to promote equitable and safe access to particular substances, in allowed legal contexts. The recommendation submission deadline would be Jan. 1, 2024.

With regard to psilocybin, the bill would revoke provisions in the state’s statute that bar the transportation or growing of spores that can produce mushrooms that possess the psychoactive ingredient.

Wiener decided to exclude mescaline extracted from peyote from the legislation’s provisions of reform because of the significance it holds in Native American spirituality and its nearly endangered status.

Concurrently, reform activists in California revealed their plans to put a measure to legalize the retail sale and use of psilocybin on the 2022 ballot. The activists from Decriminalize California stated that they would work on convincing legislators to champion for reform before presenting voters in the state with the option to choose, if the legislature didn’t act.

Across the country, the Northampton City Council approved a measure to make the enforcement of laws on the distribution, use and possession of various psychedelics, such as ayahuasca and psilocybin, the lowest priority of its law enforcement officers. This move makes Northampton the third city in the state of Massachusetts to enact a policy change, after Cambridge and Somerville.

The national psychedelics reform movement has been spreading rapidly across the country since Denver decriminalized hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2019.

As the work of such advocacy movements spreads, any products unveiled by sector actors such as XPhyto Therapeutic Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) will find an informed population that will be willing to consider those medicinal products as an option.

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