Pass Senate Bill 519, Decriminalize Psychedelics – Lake County Record-Bee

American public opinion has taken a decisive turn against the criminalization of marijuana.

Today, most Americans, even many conservatives and Republicans, recognize the folly of bringing the hammer of the criminal justice system down on people for marijuana.

While marijuana use may or may not be advisable, like alcohol or tobacco, using the criminal justice system to stop people from using it is widely seen as a waste of limited police resources as well as a response. disproportionate to what is almost always a victimless vice.

The same arguments apply to psychedelic drugs, which have seen something of a revival in recent years.

With pending FDA trials almost certain to provide legal access to once-demonized drugs like MDMA (known as “ecstasy”) and psilocybin (the active compound in “magic mushrooms”) in the years to come, along with the rise of microdosing, there is growing interest in psychedelic drugs and the laws surrounding them.

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, pushed for legislation to decriminalize possession of certain psychedelics and instruct the state Department of Public Health to convene a task force to make recommendations on how to manage the drugs psychedelics.

The legislation, Senate Bill 519, has already been approved in the state Senate and is awaiting advancement in the Assembly. We have previously written editorials in support of this legislation and reiterate our support for it.

“The criminalization of drugs is an abject disaster,” Wiener told us. “It doesn’t work, it doesn’t stop people from using drugs.”

He is right. All that needs to be done is look back on the past half-century since the start of the war on drugs. It’s like the prohibition of alcohol a century ago.

Prohibition also stifles non-recreational uses of illicit drugs. Military veteran Jesse Gould, founder of the Heroic Hearts Project, told our Editorial Board that many veterans he works with, including himself, have discovered the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

In a free society, as long as others are not harmed or victimized in the process, adults should be free to ingest whatever they wish without the threat of arrest. If this is their only “crime”, they have not committed any offense worthy of the capture of the justice system or the interference of the police with actual crimes to be dealt with.

Pass SB 519.

—The Editorial Board, Southern California News Group

Norman D. Briggs