SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Certain psychedelic drugs, including hallucinogenic mushrooms, could soon be decriminalized in California.
State Bill 58 passed through the Senate Thursday. The bill would allow a few naturally occurring psychedelic substances, including the ingredients in hallucinogenic mushrooms, to be consumed without the risk of running afoul of state authorities.
The bill was authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).
"I'm thrilled. This has been a three-year process working with our coalition of combat veterans, firefighters and health professionals on what's really a common-sense bill," said Wiener.
According to Columbia University Medical Center, an estimated 5.5 million Americans use hallucinogens.
Supporters say the drug can be used for treatment of people suffering from addiction, PTSD, depression and anxiety among others.
"When people have and are using mushrooms for whatever benefit they're getting from it, we shouldn't arrest them. We know these substances have significant, potential benefits. Like any substance, people need to be educated and careful," Wiener continued.
It would allow people over the age of 21 to possess and use small amounts of psychedelics.
But, it would penalize possession on school grounds or giving in to someone under 21.
However, not all lawmakers are on board.
"Law enforcement does not like it. I'm concerned that we're going to have a lot of people out there taking mushrooms thinking it's decriminalized…I stand with law enforcement on this. They're the experts in this area. We're probably going to see more driving under the influence and trying to deal with it like we did with the decriminalization of marijuana," said Republican State Sen. Brian Dahle.
The bill would require more research to be done around the drug.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Oct. 14 to sign or veto the bill. If he signs it, it will go into effect in 2025.