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California advances decriminalizing psychedelic substances

The bill advanced from a committee Tuesday after the author removed a substance from the bill that opponents said can be used as a date-rape drug.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has moved another step closer to decriminalizing psychedelics amid a debate over whether their prohibition is an outdated remnant of the War on Drugs.

The bill advanced from a committee Tuesday after the author removed a substance from the bill that opponents said can be used as a date-rape drug.

It would allow those 21 and older to possess for personal use and social sharing seven drugs including LSD, mescaline, and the hallucinogenic component of so-called magic mushrooms. 

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener said the drugs are transforming lives. But he amended his bill to remove the potential date-rape drug ketamine from the list.

Senate Bill 519 is a rebuke of America’s decades-long “war on drugs,” according to Wiener. And while it doesn’t go as far as Oregon – which in November voted to decriminalize all drugs – it does seek to decriminalize many psychedelic and hallucinogenic substances that may have applications to treat a range of mental health ailments.

ABC10 spoke with Wiener about the bill in May. Tap here to read more.

Read more from ABC10

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