Revamped ‘Magic Mushroom’ Bill Proposes Legal Psychedelic Therapy in California

Revamped ‘Magic Mushroom’ Bill Proposes Legal Psychedelic Therapy in California

Psilocybin mushrooms stand ready for harvest in a humidified "fruiting chamber" in the basement of a private home in Fairfield County, Conn., on July 27, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

2/12/2024

Updated: 2/12/2024

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After a bill last year was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom seeking to decriminalize “magic mushrooms,” Sen. Scott Wiener announced, in a press release, earlier this week a new version which would instead legalize the psychedelic drug for therapy.
The previous bill was vetoed by the governor over a lack of specifics, such as dosing information and therapeutic guidelines, which the governor said is vital before decriminalization.
According to medical research, in a controlled setting, the drug can treat traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and addictive personality traits.
Mr. Wiener said the new bill, Senate Bill 1012, addresses the governor’s concerns.
“We know psychedelic therapy saves lives, and safe and controlled access to these innovative treatments will be transformative for so many Californians seeking relief from mental health and addiction challenges,” he said in the press release.
Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, a co-author of the bill, said it would help military veterans who have been left mentally impaired and let down by traditional methods of therapeutic treatment.
“Our heroic first responders and veterans deserve a chance to heal from the unseen wounds left by their service,” she said in the same press release issued by Mr. Wiener’s office.
She added that some veterans have made overseas trips to access the treatments, which should be made available locally.
“Psychedelic treatments have healed some of these heroes where traditional treatments failed, but only after our veterans made arduous overseas trips to access the treatments. We should be offering these brave public servants and all Californians access to these innovative treatments in California,” she said.
Lawmakers in the press release argued that a mental health crisis has risen especially in the last few years where conventional treatments—such as psychiatric and talk therapy—work for many, but not for all. Some mental health issues requiring an approach that goes beyond traditional methods, they said.
They also said some studies indicate psychedelic treatment isn’t a one size fits all approach as some have underlying conditions that could trigger “serious adverse effects.”
The bill, if it becomes law, would create a Board of Psychedelic Facilitators under the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs, which would oversee licensing and regulating facilitators who provide treatment for those over 21.
Treatments would include psilocybin, the main component in “magic mushrooms”; DMT; mescaline—excluding peyote—and MDMA, a drug commonly used in parties. All would be required to be “produced and tested by licensed facilities,” according to the lawmakers.
The bill is also sponsored by the Heroic Hearts Project, which helps combat veterans access psychedelic therapy for trauma they’ve incurred in service. The organization’s executive director said the new law could make California a national leader in helping veterans expand access to alternative forms of therapy.
“Daily medications and other treatments for PTSD and depression work for some, but for many, they aren’t helpful. The lack of effective mental health options for those who have defended and served our nation is a crisis,” said the organization’s Jesse Gould in the press release.
The lawmakers also noted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated psilocybin as a breakthrough therapy in both 2018 and 2019, and MDMA is currently undergoing FDA approval for PTSD.
They also noted psychedelic therapy could reduce opioid use, citing a study by the U.S. Journal Psychopharmacology, which studied 44,000 Americans that have or currently use opioids and were given the treatment in a controlled setting.
The bill is waiting to be assigned to a committee for review.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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