Will psychedelics become legal in California? – Orange County Register

Marissa Garcia Cal Matters

As scientific research into the therapeutic uses of psychedelics expands and progressively pushes to ease the punishment for drug crimes, California legislators have enacted legislation to legalize magic mushrooms, ecstasy, and several other hallucinogenic substances. I am considering it.

This proposal sparked a heated debate about how far California must go to accept new medical care and condemn drug use without compromising public safety. Research on the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs for treating PTSD, depression and anxiety is becoming increasingly mainstream in academia, but the bill provides medical applications that enable recreational use of psychedelic drugs. It is over.

Senate Bill 519 Decriminalize psychedelic ownership and non-commercial sharing Depends on people over 21 years old. Psychedelics are not allowed to be sold in government-approved stores. Cannabis Permitted under state law, it sets the framework for California to move towards future psychedelic drug regulation.

The bill passed a major hurdle last week, clearing the Senate with the bare minimum of votes, and is now likely to move to Congress and continue to divide the Democrats who control Congress.

The debate takes place five years and a year after California voters legalize cannabis. Oregon voters have legalized the use of psychedelic drugs in treatment settings and decriminalized possession of all small doses of drugs.The California bill, which is part of a growing movement to fight the drug war, would mean that psychedelic travel does not result in a trip to the police station.

San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener, the author of the bill, said: “This drug war has not reduced drug use. It has not reduced addiction. It has not reduced overdose. It has exacerbated the problem.”

He is promoting this measure as a way to expand the treatment of mental illness and roll back the criminal justice policy he sees as discriminating against people of color.

But some lawmakers say Wiener’s approach is overkill. Among the drugs it will legalize is ketamine, which, according to law enforcement officials, is sometimes used to facilitate sexual assault.

Temecula’s Republican Senator Melissa Melendez said in a fierce debate last week, “Why legalize drugs like ketamine used to incapacitate young women and girls in the world for the purpose of rape. I don’t know if you’re thinking. ” Senate floor.

Law enforcement agencies are also against the bill. The California Police Officers Research Association (a coalition of police unions) claims that it leads to more drug trafficking and crime.

“We believe that many of the penalties associated with regulated substances act as a deterrent or reason for individuals to receive the treatment they need to improve their lives,” the group said. I wrote in the meeting. “As we have seen many times, it is often the most vulnerable population, the people with the weakest support systems, and will be most susceptible to increased access and use of drugs. . “

Democrats are divided on the proposal.

Democratic Senator Bob Archuleta of the Picoliviera said he voted against the bill to legalize psychedelics before he could get more information about its implications. The bill set up a working group in the state’s Ministry of Public Health to study psychedelic substances in more depth. Archuleta said it’s better to wait for definitive guidance from the group.

In Wiener’s eyes, there is no time to wait. Life is at a loss. Veterans’ suicide rate was significantly higher Higher than national suicide rates, according to 2016 data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Do you want to help veterans?

Psychedelic is coming. Scientific research looks promising. Recent studies suggest that psychedelics such as MDMA (well known as Molly or Ecstasy) can bridge the mental health gap of veterans suffering from PTSD.

The UCLA Health Policy Research Center is almost 55% of California veterans seeking medical assistance for mental health They didn’t feel like they had the treatment they needed.That’s one reason Several veterans’ groups support the bill..

“I tried countless failed treatments and felt hopeless … I felt that there was nothing to lose in pursuing psychedelic treatment outside the United States because I had no other choice. “Former Navy Seal Marcus Capone wrote in an editorial: Pass the bill. “Practically overnight, I felt a huge weight lift and my cognitive function returned. After years of frustration and despair, I regained my life.”

New scientific research shows that psychedelics can help people with PTSD learn new thinking patterns and overcome trauma.

Jennifer Mitchell, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said: Psychedelic Science Center, University of California, Berkeley. “It appears to affect fear-based memory integration and memory.”

MDMA doses do not eliminate these fear-based memories. Mitchell says it helps patients revisit traumatic moments without the usual horror and shame overhangs. Under the guidance of the therapist, the patient can better understand his or her thoughts and eventually let go.

Mitchell likens the effect of MDMA on memory to the snow falling on a snow globe. Imagine skiing down the hillside on the same trail each time. “Every time we go down that trail, the snow gets a little deeper, the trail wears a little, and soon, that’s the only way to climb a mountain,” Mitchell said.

“With psychedelics, you can rock the snow world and drop a fresh, smooth new snow coat everywhere. As a result, the road is no longer visible and you can find a new road away from the mountains. . “

Beyond PTSD, psychedelic drugs are also promising in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Last year’s Johns Hopkins study observed how depressed adults responded to two doses of psilocybin — and they more than 70% of participants saw an improvement in mental health. Is Psychedelics outperformed other currently existing antidepressants Fold in four. In another study, participants who took many anxiolytics that had never helped with depression finally improved after facilitating a treatment session with psilocybin.He was Stuck thinking the same negative thoughts over and over, And psilocybin helped short the circuit so he could heal.

Several research universities have invested in research on the medical potential of psychedelics, especially in the last two years. The Neuroscape Psychedelics Division at the University of California, San Francisco was founded in March 2021 with $ 6.4 million in private funding. The Johns Hopkins Psychedelics and Awareness Research Center, founded in September 2020, is backed by $ 17 million in private funding.

Many California lawmakers said they were persuaded that psychedelics could be beneficial in some medical settings, but some lawmakers talked about one phrase in Wiener’s bill, “social sharing.” I was worried.

Discussion of “social sharing”

The law allows adults to exchange psychedelics with each other unless it costs money. It would essentially sanction the party’s drugs, Lagunanigel’s Republican Senator Pat Bates argued.

“If we want to limit it, specify it for therapeutic use with veterans, I fully support it, but I say this goes far beyond that I believe, “she said before voting” no. “

However, Wiener argues that social sharing is an integral part of legalization.

“When people use psychedelics, it’s better to use them with others, because people are overwhelmingly safe to use these drugs, but whether they are legal or illegal. Not because it can react badly to all kinds of drugs, “he said.

SEN.Scott Wiener, Democrat of San Francisco

But social sharing also opens up responsibility questions related to neuroscientist Mitchell. “Who says that someone’s mushroom of choice in a field is right, unless regulated? And if they share it and it’s wrong and someone dies … who’s responsible And how to fix it? “Mitchell said.

As the decriminalization movement gains momentum on the west coast, some Native American groups in the southwest continue to be concerned that it could invade their traditional practices. Peyote cactus, the natural source of the psychedelic drug mescaline, is the center of Navajo Nation’s religious rituals.The Los Angeles Times reported last year: Some Navajos were upset by cities considering ordinances to decriminalize PeyoteThey are afraid that it will reduce the natural supply of the already vulnerable Peyote.

In response to this concern, Wiener’s bill did not decriminalize the mescaline supplied by Peyote. Owning a peyote cactus is still illegal, but the bill allows mescaline from other types of cacti.

“We make this decision to respect the sovereignty of native peyote practitioners, who point out that peyote cacti are sacrament and the supply of naturally growing peyote is declining in Texas peyote gardens. “I did,” writes Wiener spokesman Catie Stewart. Email to Cal Matters.

In 2019, Oakland became California’s first decriminalized city of all psychedelic plants. Less than a year later, Santa Cruz went through a similar step.

But they are some of California’s most progressive excursions. As the state legislature is considering Wiener’s bill, whether the entire state is ready to accept psychedelics is a question that will be answered this summer. Parliament has a group of medium-sized Democrats, some of whom represent the Swing district, who may stand by Republicans and kill free legislation.

“If the bill doesn’t pass Congress, we’ll try again,” Wiener said. “The issue has not been resolved and it may take several attempts to process the invoice.”

Will psychedelics become legal in California? – Orange County Register Source link Will psychedelics become legal in California? – Orange County Register

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