California Legislature approves law decriminalizing use and possession of psychedelic drugs

The rule heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk for his signature. If enacted, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

In California, a law decriminalizing the use and possession of a large number of psychedelic drugs is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk for final approval.

State senators approved the bill with 21 votes in favor and 14 against. It had previously been ratified by the Assembly with 43 votes in favor and 15 against. Now, Newsom has the final say on whether to implement the proposed law. The governor has until the Oct. 14 deadline to decide the future of the law that would take effect Jan. 1, 2025.

The bill expunges convictions and other criminal penalties for the use and possession of psilocybin and psilocin (ingredients of psychedelic mushrooms). It also includes the decriminalization of mescaline (with certain conditions) and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). It also allows citizens to plant and grow plants that include those compounds. The law applies to those 21 years and older.

20230SB58_94 by Veronica Silveri on Scribd

Within the law, the sale of drugs remains illegal and it is criminalized to possess psychedelics in or around schools, as well as consumption, transfer or possession for minors.

California could join Oregon and Colorado in decriminalizing psychedelics

If Newsom signs the bill, The Golden State would join Colorado and Oregon as the only states that have decriminalized these types of drugs.

The California District Attorneys Association and the California State Sheriffs Association do not approve of the law, and neither do Republican state lawmakers. James Gallagher, Republican leader of the Assembly, argued that legalizing these drugs will only make "things worse" in the state:

Crime and homelessness are out of control in California. If Democrats don't think this will make things worse, they're hallucinating: No mushrooms are needed.