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

Earlier than I get into the specifics of the invoice, there are three issues which can be vital to notice. First, this invoice was simply launched and it’s extremely probably that it is going to be amended–probably even considerably–through the legislative course of. Second, it’s in no way assured that this invoice will cross. The California legislature has had a hard enough time attempting to cross a hemp CBD regulation that we don’t advocate getting your hopes up simply but.

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

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

Take away possession penalties.  The regulation would take away prison penalties for possessing a number of medicine on Schedule I of California’s Uniform Managed Substances Act, corresponding to DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, and psilocyn. Once more, this isn’t full-fledged legalization, however the elimination of sure penalties for possession solely.

Enable social sharing.  The regulation would additionally enable 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 form of sharing must be with somebody over 21 and provision to a minor might result in penalties. Social sharing is restricted to gifting away or counseling the administration of those substances to individuals over 21 with out monetary acquire and within the context of issues corresponding to group counseling or non secular steering. This does NOT enable for industrial gross sales–the regulation is evident 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 corresponding to counseling or non secular steering. There are related, although extra slim, provisions for MDMA.

Decriminalize paraphernalia.  Present regulation criminalizes drug paraphernalia. This regulation would supply a carveout to current regulation for paraphernalia associated to the non-public possession, rising, sharing, or secure use of a number of gear, together with DMT, LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine. The aim of this carveout is to permit for harm-reduction instruments corresponding to 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 shall be due by January 1, 2024.

Expungement Alternatives.  The regulation would supply 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 regulation. The state Division of Justice can be required to overview information in state prison proceedings and notify, over the following few years, prosecutors of circumstances that might then be eligible for dismissal or recall. The regulation then lists out a posh technique of permitting challenges to the dismissal or discount, and in the end would enable courts to scale back or dismiss convictions in some circumstances.


It is a very formidable regulation and is more likely to endure substantial adjustments within the legislative session. Please keep tuned to the Canna Legislation Weblog for extra updates.