Senator Scott Wiener of California plans to introduce a bill to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin (magic) mushrooms and other psychedelic substances. This, he says, is part of an agenda to decrease the failed war on drugs.
He will introduce the bill in the legislature in 2021. Assembly members Sydney Kamlager and Evan Low worked on the bill with the senator. Wiener, who doesn’t indulge in psychedelics, stated in a recent interview that, while every substance has the potential to be harmful, psychedelic substances can and have been used safely. He added that psychedelics had significant medicinal uses.
Psilocybin mushrooms have been widely used in spiritual and religious practices for centuries in a number of cultures. The psilocybin component in mushrooms is responsible for the psychedelic outcome people experience. Some scientists believe psilocybin as well as other drugs have the potential to treat PTSD, anxiety and depression.
The cities of Denver, Santa Cruz and Oakland have all effectively decriminalized the possession of magic mushrooms. In 2019, the city council of Oakland covered other fungi and plants that contain psychoactive substances. A few weeks ago, voters from Washington, DC, approved a similar measure.
During the election, Oregon was the first U.S. state to legalize magic (psilocybin) mushrooms when its voters approved the supervised use of psilocybin for mental health treatment on the ballot. The American Association of Psychiatrists and the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association had argued against the proposal. The groups stated that they believed that science did not indicate whether psilocybin was a safe medical intervention for mental health conditions.
While Wiener hasn’t determined what strategy his psilocybin decriminalization measure would take, he stated in an interview that he was gravitating toward Oregon’s approach. He added that the measure would permit the use of the other known psychedelic substances such as LSD.
The senator’s measure is part of a bigger agenda he has to moderate some anti-drug laws. The senator stated that he planned to introduce a measure that would permit Oakland and San Francisco to experiment with safe injection locations that would be supervised. Drug users at these sites could consume drugs safely. Weiner also plans to introduce another measure that would end mandatory jail terms for nonviolent drug offenses. While similar legislature failed this year, another measure that eased some mandatory sentences was passed last year.
Wiener stated that the war on drugs had been a disaster with regard to spending huge amounts of money on prisons, criminalizing addiction, tearing apart communities and increasing law enforcement.
A lot of attention has been directed at functional mushrooms of late. One of the companies operating in this space is Rritual Superfoods Inc. Rritual has an avowed objective to help modern society meet the challenges people face on a daily basis. The company makes products containing carefully selected adaptogens, functional mushrooms and other superfoods.
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