California lawmakers to debate legalization of psychedelic drugs while advocates, opponents speak out

Politics

(KTXL) – Rape survivors are now fighting efforts to legalize psychedelic drugs in California.

California Assembly’s Committee on Public Health and Safety will discuss the legalization bill Tuesday morning.

The author of Senate Bill 519, Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, says he believes the drugs could be helpful to those struggling with mental illness and PTSD.

Anti-violence advocates say the measure would create more problems than it would solve.

The bill would decriminalize substances like mushrooms, LSD, commonly referred to as ‘acid’, as well as MDMA, commonly known as ‘molly’ or ‘ecstasy.’

Those from religious and victims’ rights backgrounds who spoke out Monday say the hallucinogens are known to cause violence and destructive delusions in users.

Along with side effects like panic attacks, opponents of the bill say the drugs could responsible for much worse.

“Those side effects don’t just impact the person taking the drugs,” said Nina Salarno Besselman, president of Crime Victims United. “Like the date rape drug ketamine, which is used to victimize others, innocent others in our society which this author finally, after immense pressure from law enforcement, victims and the public, removed from this bill. Yet he still wants LSD and other dangerous drugs to be freely accessible to the public.”

Among those who spoke out Monday were doctors and law officers who do support Weiner’s bill.

Supporters of the bill told FOX40 the creation of a licensed and supervised program, that could treat veterans without fear of arrest, would be invaluable.

“One night of psilocybin therapy, almost 20 years of our country being at war, that grief that I collected completely disappeared and I got to re-meet my authentic self and I became joyful and full of love again, and able to continue serving and helping my fellow brothers and sisters,” said retired Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Juliana Mercer.

Unless current laws are changed, veterans could spend a great deal of money trying to get legal psychedelic treatment in other countries or risk arrest here, in order to get the help they say they need.

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