California

Author pulls support after Assembly strips legalization of psychedelic drugs

Aug. 12: Amid confusion over proposed amendments in the powerful Assembly Appropriations Committee, it appeared that a bill angling to legalize possession and use of psychedelic drugs was en route to approval by the California State Assembly.

Instead, amendments actually gutted the bill of that language and were replaced with language looking to study the impacts of legalizing the drugs.

Thursday, the panel advanced the Senate-backed bill from Sen. Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco).

By gutting it of its provisions that decriminalized certain psychedelic drugs, Weiner pulled his support for the current term, vowing to reintroduce it in 2023.

“I’ve now confirmed that SB 519—decriminalizing possession and use of small quantities of certain psychedelic drugs—was amended by the Assembly Appropriations Committee to remove the decriminalization aspect of the bill,” Wiener said in a press release. “As a result, the soon-to-be-amended version of SB 519 is limited to a study.”

“While I am extremely disappointed by this result, I am looking forward to reintroducing this legislation next year and continuing to make the case that it’s time to end the War on Drugs,” the lawmaker said. “Psychedelic drugs, which are not addictive, have incredible promise when it comes to mental health and addiction treatment. We are not giving up.”


Aug. 11: mid last-minute votes in a powerful committee, a bill seeking to legalize possession of certain psychedelic drugs is headed to the floor of the California State Assembly.

The bill, Senate Bill 519 – authored by Sen. Scott Weiner (D–San Francisco) – would legalize possession of specific amounts of psychedelic drugs, including DMT and psilocybin mushrooms.

Thursday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee – the final committee needing to weigh-in in the lower chamber – ushered the measure forward.

If enacted, the bill would legalize possession of:

  • 2 grams of DMT
  • 15 grams of ibogaine
  • 0.01 grams of LSD
  • 4 grams of mescaline
  • 2 grams of the controlled substance psilocybin or 4 ounces of a plant or fungi containing the controlled substance psilocybin.
  • 2 grams of the controlled substance psilocyn or 4 ounces of a plant or fungi containing the controlled substance of psilocyn
  • 4 grams of MDMA.

The proposal originally legalized use and possession of ketamine, a known date-rape drug. It was removed amid debate on the bill in 2021.

The vote sets up a do-or-die passage vote in the Assembly before returning to the Senate for a possible concurrence vote to clarify amendments included or removed during debate in the Assembly.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.