On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation unanimously at its meeting to decriminalize psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca.
The legislation was sponsored by Supervisors Dean Preston and Hillary Ronen. The aim of the legislation is to call on police to consider entheogenic plants as “amongst the lowest priority” for penalties and urges the city criminal justice not to waste resources on individuals using psychedelics.
The resolution also advocates for the decriminalization of entheogenic plant practices on at both state and federal level.
The city’s Police Department has not yet put in a place a program for use who use entheogen, leaving users still at risk of being arrested and charged.
A growing movement is gaining momentum across the United States to legalize some or all entheogen, such as mescaline from some cacti, the root bark of the iboga shrub and psilocybin from certain mushrooms—as some of these products are said to have healing properties. The resolution cites various studies that show the benefits these substances have for both mental health illnesses and those who are in the recovery period for opioid and methamphetamine addiction.
San Francisco is following Oakland, Santa Cruz, Denver and Seattle, among other jurisdictions that have initiated the decriminalization of these plants and fungi.
“San Francisco joins a growing list of cities and countries that are taking a fresh look at these plant-based medicines, following science and data, and destigmatizing their use and cultivation. Today’s unanimous vote is an exciting step forward,” Preston said in a statement.
The measure has similarities to Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill to legalize the possession and use of small doses of certain psychedelic drugs like MDMA, LSD and ketamine in California, this bill was rejected.
The legislation, Senate Bill 519, was reduced to a study to be produced in a year. Wiener said he plans to bring the bill back to the table next year.
“Psychedelic drugs, which are not addictive, have incredible promise when it comes to mental health and addiction treatment. We are not giving up,” Wiener said in a statement after the decriminalization aspect of his bill was removed in August.
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently vetoed legalizing a safe consumption pilot program citing safety concerns.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SF STANDARD
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