On February 17, 2021, California Senator Scott Wiener launched SB-519, a invoice that if handed, would decriminalize a number of each pure and artificial psychedelic medicine. On this put up, I’ll unpack what the legislation would do in its present type.
Earlier than I get into the specifics of the invoice, there are three issues which might be vital to notice. First, this invoice was simply launched and it’s extremely doubtless that it is going to be amended–probably even considerably–through the legislative course of. Second, it’s in no way assured that this invoice will go. The California legislature has had a hard enough time making an attempt to go a hemp CBD legislation that we don’t suggest getting your hopes up simply but.
Third, and most significantly, this legislation would NOT legalize psychedelics in the identical sense as states have legalized hashish throughout the nation. There’s a massive distinction between decriminalization and legalization, and the distinction can typically be advanced. However within the easiest phrases, this invoice received’t open up authorized business alternatives; as a substitute, it’s primarily designed to cut back and eradicate penalties for possession and private use by individuals over 21. And it definitely received’t change federal legislation.
With that, let’s check out what the legislation would do:
Take away possession penalties. The legislation would take away felony penalties for possessing a number of medication on Schedule I of California’s Uniform Managed Substances Act, corresponding to DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, and psilocyn. Once more, this isn’t full-fledged legalization, however the removing of sure penalties for possession solely.
Permit social sharing. The legislation would additionally enable the possession, processing, acquiring, ingesting, “social sharing” or transport of DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, or psilocyn. It will additionally make lawful cultivation or processing of crops able to making these substances at an individual’s property for private use or social sharing.
It’s vital to notice that any sort of sharing must be with somebody over 21 and provision to a minor may result in penalties. Social sharing is restricted to giving freely or counseling the administration of those substances to individuals over 21 with out monetary acquire and within the context of issues corresponding to group counseling or religious steering. This does NOT enable for business gross sales–the legislation is obvious that social sharing can’t be for monetary acquire. The one seeming exception is that the time period “monetary acquire” doesn’t prohibit charging charges for providers corresponding to counseling or religious steering. There are comparable, although extra slender, provisions for MDMA.
Decriminalize paraphernalia. Present legislation criminalizes drug paraphernalia. This legislation would offer a carveout to current legislation for paraphernalia associated to the private possession, rising, sharing, or protected use of a number of gear, together with DMT, LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine. The aim of this carveout is to permit for harm-reduction instruments corresponding to drug-checking kits and different paraphernalia that may assist check and make sure the security of those substances.
Working Group. The California Division of Public Well being can be required to convene a working group to review and make suggestions relating to decriminalization and even legalization and regulation of psychedelic substances. The CDPH’s report back to the state legislature will likely be due by January 1, 2024.
Expungement Alternatives. The legislation would offer mechanisms to hunt to recall or dismiss sentences and potential sealing, if these individuals wouldn’t have been responsible of an offense or would have been responsible of a lesser offense below sure elements of this legislation. The state Division of Justice can be required to evaluate data in state felony proceedings and notify, over the subsequent few years, prosecutors of circumstances that will then be eligible for dismissal or recall. The legislation then lists out a fancy technique of permitting challenges to the dismissal or discount, and in the end would enable courts to cut back or dismiss convictions in some circumstances.
It is a very bold legislation and is more likely to endure substantial adjustments within the legislative session. Please keep tuned to the Canna Legislation Weblog for extra updates.