On February 17, 2021, California Senator Scott Wiener launched SB-519, a invoice that if handed, would decriminalize a bunch of each pure and artificial psychedelic medicine. On this submit, I’ll unpack what the legislation would do in its present type.

Earlier than I get into the specifics of the invoice, there are three issues which might be vital to notice. First, this invoice was simply launched and it’s extremely possible that it will likely be amended–probably even considerably–through the legislative course of. Second, it’s not at all assured that this invoice will move. The California legislature has had a hard enough time attempting to move a hemp CBD legislation that we don’t advocate getting your hopes up simply but.

Third, and most significantly, this legislation would NOT legalize psychedelics in the identical sense as states have legalized hashish throughout the nation. There’s a large distinction between decriminalization and legalization, and the distinction can usually be complicated. However within the easiest phrases, this invoice gained’t open up authorized industrial alternatives; as an alternative, it’s primarily designed to scale back and eradicate penalties for possession and private use by individuals over 21. And it actually gained’t change federal legislation.

With that, let’s check out what the legislation would do:

Take away possession penalties.  The legislation would take away felony penalties for possessing a bunch of medication on Schedule I of California’s Uniform Managed Substances Act, reminiscent of DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, and psilocyn. Once more, this isn’t full-fledged legalization, however the removing of sure penalties for possession solely.

Permit social sharing.  The legislation would additionally permit the possession, processing, acquiring,  ingesting, “social sharing” or transport of DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, or psilocyn. It could additionally make lawful cultivation or processing of crops able to making these substances at an individual’s property for private use or social sharing.

It’s vital to notice that any sort of sharing must be with somebody over 21 and provision to a minor may result in penalties. Social sharing is proscribed to gifting away or counseling the administration of those substances to individuals over 21 with out monetary acquire and within the context of issues reminiscent of group counseling or religious steering. This does NOT permit for industrial gross sales–the legislation is obvious that social sharing can’t be for monetary acquire. The one seeming exception is that the time period “monetary acquire” doesn’t prohibit charging charges for companies reminiscent of counseling or religious steering. There are comparable, although extra slender, provisions for MDMA.

Decriminalize paraphernalia.  Present legislation criminalizes drug paraphernalia. This legislation would offer a carveout to present legislation for paraphernalia associated to the private possession, rising, sharing, or secure use of a bunch of gear, together with DMT, LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine. The aim of this carveout is to permit for harm-reduction instruments reminiscent of drug-checking kits and different paraphernalia that may assist check and make sure the security of those substances.

Working Group.  The California Division of Public Well being can be required to convene a working group to review and make suggestions relating to decriminalization and even legalization and regulation of psychedelic substances. The CDPH’s report back to the state legislature might be due by January 1, 2024.

Expungement Alternatives.  The legislation would offer mechanisms to hunt to recall or dismiss sentences and potential sealing, if these individuals wouldn’t have been responsible of an offense or would have been responsible of a lesser offense below sure components of this legislation. The state Division of Justice can be required to overview information in state felony proceedings and notify, over the subsequent few years, prosecutors of circumstances that may then be eligible for dismissal or recall. The legislation then lists out a posh means of permitting challenges to the dismissal or discount, and finally would permit courts to scale back or dismiss convictions in some circumstances.


This can be a very formidable legislation and is more likely to endure substantial modifications within the legislative session. Please keep tuned to the Canna Legislation Weblog for extra updates.