In 2021, California State Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB-519, a statewide psychedelics decriminalization bill. Senator Wiener didn’t have the support to push the bill all the way forward in 2021, so he gathered momentum for a 2022 vote. After a gutting by the California Assembly, the state won’t decriminalize psychedelics in 2022.
I’ve regularly blogged on SB-519 since it was first introduced, so I won’t rehash its provisions here. But the flagship provisions would have decriminalized possession and use of a host of psychedelics. The bill also would have required the state form a working group to make recommendations about future legalization efforts.
As reported by Marijuana Moment, the Assembly gutted nearly all of the decriminalization provisions and just left the working group section. If you click the link at the top of this post, you can see just how much the state cut. (Almost everything.) In response to the Assembly, Senator Wiener tweeted a statement indicating his ongoing support for the bill and that he intends top reintroduce it next year.
This is an unfortunate result. As it stands though, the state will not be decriminalizing psychedelics this year. The lack of support in the Assembly is a bad sign even for coming years. It reminds me of the state’s frustrating inability to pass basic CBD legislation for years.
Eventually, it may just take a voter initiative to get the job done. Or maybe our legislators will see how much tax revenue they are missing out on after Oregon’s legal market comes online and goes full tilt with legalization and licensing.
Either way, stay tuned to the Psychedelics Law Blog for more on California’s messy situation.