SB 519 Summary

Introduced by Sen. Weiner

Co-authors: Assembly Members Kamlager, Low and Quirk

What it does:

This bill would make lawful the possession for personal use and the social sharing, (see below), of psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), by and with persons 21 years of age or older. The bill would provide penalties for possession of these substance on school grounds, or possession by, or sharing with, persons under 21 years of age. 

The bill would also provide for the dismissal and sealing of pending and prior convictions for offenses that would be made lawful by the passage of this bill, as specified. The bill would require the Department of Justice to identify those records and provide them to local jurisdictions to initiate the required proceedings. 

This bill would require the State Department of Public Health to convene a working group, as specified, to research and make recommendations to the Legislature regarding, among other things, the regulation and therapeutic use of these substances, as specified. 

Existing law prohibits the possession of drug paraphernalia, as defined. This bill would exempt from this prohibition, paraphernalia related to these specific substances. The bill would also exempt from the prohibition items used for the testing and analysis of controlled substances. 

“Personal use” means for the personal ingestion or other personal and noncommercial use by the person in possession. 

“Social sharing” means the giving away or consensual administering of a controlled substance by a person 21 years of age or older, to another person 21 years of age or older, not for financial gain,  including in the context of group counseling, spiritual guidance, community-based healing, or related services. 

How you can help:

If you are an individual living in California and would like to show your support of this bill:

  1. Use the template below, cut and paste, and edit/add your own language
  2. Submit it on https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/ – if you have never written a letter before, you will have to create an account, and then submit.

LETTER TEMPLATE

DATE

Honorable Scott Wiener
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA 95818
Submitted via webportal: https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/ 

RE: Support for SB 519 (Wiener) re: decriminalizing possession and use of psychedelic substances

 

Dear Senator Wiener,

I am writing in strong support of SB 519 by Senator Scott Wiener, to decriminalize the possession and personal use of the following substances: psilocybin, psilocyn, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, DMT, mescaline (from non-peyote sources) and ibogaine as an incremental step to dismantle failed War on Drugs policies. This legislation will also expunge any criminal records for people convicted of possession and personal use of these substances. In light of ongoing clinical trials and research, and their use by many communities for their healing properties, SB 519 will also establish a working group that will provide recommendations to the Legislature on how we can thoughtfully and allow for personal and therapeutic use of these substances in a manner that maximizes public health, safety and healing. 

[Anything you want to add about you and your interest in this policy]

The stigma behind psychedelic substances often overshadows its legitimate medicial value and promise. In the 1960s, researchers were conducting promising studies on the effectiveness of psychedelic substances to treat ailments such as depression and PTSD, until the War on Drugs halted this work. Modern research clearly demonstrates that these psychedelic substances can be a tool for healing and have a promising future for mental health treatment. Beyond halting this promising research, the War on Drugs also enacted the policy of criminalizing people for the possession or personal use of controlled substances. Today, we know this is a failed policy approach as it does not improve public safety, deter personal use, or help people may be experiencing substance use disorder. 

It is time that California stop criminalizing people that possess and use substances that have immense medicinal potential and look towards how California should thoughtfully regulate legal use to these substances. SB 519 is an incremental measure that relies on a more modern understanding of these substances, and provides space for California to start a more sensible conversation about how we really ought to treat people who are using psychedelic substances for their own personal and medical purposes.

Our organization lends our voice to the broad coalition calling  and specifically ask for your support for SB 519 by Senator Wiener. Thank you for considering our support for this important legislation.

Respectfully,

NAME

CONTACT INFO

cc: Office of Senator Scott Wiener c/o angela.hill@sen.ca.gov  

If you are a Plant Medicine Organization, a Medical Specialists or a NON-CANNABIS company in the United States and would like to show your support of this bill:

  1. Use the template below, cut and paste, and edit/add your own language
  2. Submit it on https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/ – if you have never written a letter before, you will have to create an account, and then submit.

LETTER TEMPLATE

LETTERHEARD

DATE

Honorable Scott Wiener
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA 95818
Submitted via webportal: https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/ 

RE: Support for SB 519 (Wiener) re: decrimanlizing possession and use of psychedelic substances

 

Dear Senator Wiener,

On behalf of ORGANIZATION, I write in strong support of SB 519 by Senator Scott Wiener, to decriminalize the possession and personal use of the following substances: psilocybin, psilocyn, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, DMT, mescaline (from non-peyote sources) and ibogaine as an incremental step to dismantle failed War on Drugs policies. This legislation will also expunge any criminal records for people convicted of possession and personal use of these substances. In light of ongoing clinical trials and research, and their use by many communities for their healing properties, SB 519 will also establish a working group that will provide recommendations to the Legislature on how we can thoughtfully and allow for personal and therapeutic use of these substances in a manner that maximizes public health, safety and healing. 

[Anything you want to add about your organization and interest in this policy]

The stigma behind psychedelic substances often overshadows its legitimate medicial value and promise. In the 1960s, researchers were conducting promising studies on the effectiveness of psychedelic substances to treat ailments such as depression and PTSD, until the War on Drugs halted this work. Modern research clearly demonstrates that these psychedelic substances can be a tool for healing and have a promising future for mental health treatment. Beyond halting this promising research, the War on Drugs also enacted the policy of criminalizing people for the possession or personal use of controlled substances. Today, we know this is a failed policy approach as it does not improve public safety, deter personal use, or help people may be experiencing substance use disorder. 

It is time that California stop criminalizing people that possess and use substances that have immense medicinal potential and look towards how California should thoughtfully regulate legal use to these substances. SB 519 is an incremental measure that relies on a more modern understanding of these substances, and provides space for California to start a more sensible conversation about how we really ought to treat people who are using psychedelic substances for their own personal and medical purposes.

Our organization lends our voice to the broad coalition calling  and specifically ask for your support for SB 519 by Senator Wiener. Thank you for considering our support for this important legislation.

Respectfully,

NAME

TITLE, CONTACT INFO, ORGANIZATION

cc: Office of Senator Scott Wiener c/o angela.hill@sen.ca.gov  

By |Published On: April 20th, 2021|Categories: Bills We Support, Blog|

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