Policy and Advocacy Update: California State Senate Takes Step To Dismantle Psychedelic Prohibition

Fifty years after the War on Drugs was officially declared and psychedelic substance prohibition began in contravention of evidence supporting therapeutic use, the California State Senate has taken the first Legislative step to dismantle psychedelic prohibition with a 21-16 vote on June 1, 2021, in favor of Senate Bill 519 Controlled substances: decriminalization of certain hallucinogenic substances sponsored by California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). The Bill will now move on to the State Assembly, where its members will have the opportunity to join the 91% of Americans who believe the War on Drugs has failed. SB 519 eliminates destructive criminalization policies and creates pathways which could, in the future, address the risks of currently-illegal substances through evidence-based policies such as harm reduction, education, and regulatory measures to combat adulteration. The bill would also automatically move Schedule 1 drugs into a lower schedule to permit prescription use in California after FDA and DEA rescheduled. Currently, a new law must be passed in CA each time. If passed, this bill will enable MDMA-assisted therapy to automatically become rescheduled in CA after FDA and DEA reschedules. The historic Senate vote on June 1, 2021, advanced the most broad psychedelic policy reform to pass through a state chamber. The bill must now pass the State Assembly, and, if made into law, would decriminalize personal possession of some of the most-used psychedelic substances. Read our press release for more details.