New California bill would decriminalize psychedelics, expunge criminal records

California could be on the verge of becoming the latest state to decriminalize psychedelics for personal and therapeutic use, building on a growing movement across the country to rethink the so-called war on drugs.

The bill, introduced Thursday by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco, would decriminalize substances such as psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, DMT and mescaline.

Psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in certain types of mushrooms, and ketamine are already being used in psychedelic-assisted therapy by patients and doctors who extoll the health and wellness benefits of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The bill excludes the use of peyote, an endangered plant, to ensure its availability for traditional Native American spiritual practices, according to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, a global psychedelic research and education organization.

“The war on drugs has been a complete failure,” Wiener said. “It hasn’t stopped people from using drugs and it hasn’t stopped addiction.”

Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and peyote remain illegal at the federal level and are classified as Schedule 1 drugs, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

 

Source: NBC News

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