Doctors And Veterans Rally For Legal Psychedelics In California
Psychedelics could soon be decriminalized in California, and it could actually happen as soon as October. A bill called SB-519 has already passed the California state senate, and is now going to the state assembly, would “make lawful the possession for personal use, as described, and the social sharing, as defined, of psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), by and with persons 21 years of age or older.”
Doctors and veterans who support legal psychedelics had a rally for the cause in Sacramento Monday.
“Psychedelics have shown huge promise in treating mental health and substance use disorders,” the measure’s author state senator Scott Wiener said at the press conference Monday. “There’s another reason, and that’s the racist War on Drugs, which has fueled mass incarceration and torn apart communities, particularly communities of color but not made us any safer, the War on Drugs needs to end.”
Medical professionals spoke out too.
“The growing research on psychedelic therapies has shown that these treatments are incredibly valuable as we confront mental health challenges that have been unable to be treated through traditional medications or talk therapy,” family medicine specialist Dr. Mellody Hayes, MD said. “Through SB 519, California is taking valuable steps in investing in this science and these new treatments to address our most difficult cases of anxiety, depression, and trauma — especially race-related trauma.”
A number of veterans explained how psychedelics have helped them with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Throughout my 16 years in the Marine Corps, and after my deployments working with wounded Marines, I suffered and witnessed much tragedy,” said veteran Juliana Mercer. “I lost friends in battle and even more to to mental illness and suicide at home. The cumulative years of grief and trauma became overwhelming. Psychedelic therapy allowed me to finally acknowledge and release years of grief and helped me begin to heal. It changed my life, and it could help so many more in our community.”
Legal psychedelics may sound extreme, but the idea is becoming more mainstream. Oakland decriminalized most psychedelics in 2019, and Oregon voted to decriminalize all drugs in February of this year. If this bill passes the California state assembly, it could be state law as early as October.