Tuesday 10 October 2023

Gavin Newsom vetoes bill that decriminalizes psychedelics, would allow possession and growing of magic mushrooms and DMT

 California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a state a bill that would have legalized some psychedelics for personal possession or growth, including the powerful hallucinogen DMT, along with what are colloquially known as magic mushrooms.

Senate Bill 58, proposed by Democrat Scott Wiener from San Francisco, would have allowed the "possession, preparation, obtaining, or transportation of, specified quantities of psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and mescaline, for personal use," for any one who is at least 21 years old. 

However, Governor Newsom issued a veto that outlined his belief that more regulation and guidelines should be established before legalizing the drugs.

"Psychedelics have proven to relieve people suffering from certain conditions such as depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other addictive personality traits. This is an exciting frontier and California will be on the front-end of leading it," Newsom began. "California should immediately begin work to set up regulated treatment guidelines."

Newsom urged legislators to return in 2024 with the guidelines in place for therapeutics. 

"Unfortunately, this bill would decriminalize possession prior to these guidelines going into place, and I cannot sign it. I urge the legislature to send me legislation next year that includes therapeutic guidelines," the governor said.

"I am, additionally, committed to working with the legislature and sponsors of this bill to craft legislation that would authorize permissible uses and consider a framework for potential broader decriminalization in the future, once the impacts, dosing, best practice, and safety guardrails are thoroughly contemplated and put in place." 

State Senator Wiener took issue with the veto, saying that governor had declared those who benefit from the substances as criminals.

"Gov Newsom vetoed SB 58, our bill to decriminalize mushrooms & other naturally occurring psychedelics. So for now, folks who benefit from these non-addictive substances remain classified as criminals under CA law," he wrote on his X page.

An attached statement called the veto a "setback for the huge number of Californians — including combat veterans and first responders."

An anti-drug coalition labeled the veto "good news for California," and claimed that "drugs lead to more crimes, homelessness, and accidents and our efforts in thwarting bills to legalize illegal drugs are indispensable."

"Even in the two studies used by Wiener ... the conclusion is that psychedelics may produce positive results only under carefully controlled conditions [and] are not ready for individual consumption and certainly not for widespread usage," said Frank Lee, the coalition's vice president.

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