State Sen. Scott Wiener says drug users need treatment, not prison.	(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

State Sen. Scott Wiener says drug users need treatment, not prison. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Sen. Wiener wants California to decriminalize psychedelics

State Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco said for the first time Tuesday that he would introduce legislation to decriminalize psychedelic drugs in California.

Wiener made the announcement in a series of tweets after voters passed ballot measures decriminalizing psychedelics in Oregon and Washington, D.C.

In Oregon, voters allowed for the therapeutic usage of magic mushrooms and eliminated criminal penalties for possession of small quantities of certain drugs including LSD and psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in the mushrooms.

Washington, D.C. voters directed police to treat the enforcement of non-commercial psilocybin mushroom cultivation as a low priority.

Wiener did not elaborate on what his legislation would entail, but argued that psychedelic drugs have medicinal value for treating conditions including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We need to stop criminalizing drug use & addiction,” Wiener wrote. “There’s strong support for ending the failed War on Drugs, which criminalizes communities of color & those suffering from addiction. People need treatment, not prison.”

Wiener said he would work on the legislation with assemblymembers Evan Low and Sydney Kamlager, and introduce it when the Senate reconvenes.

Locally, both Oakland and Santa Cruz have made the enforcement of magic mushroom cultivation a low priority for police.

The legislation is not Wiener’s first foray into harm reduction and drug legalization. He has twice before sought unsuccessfully to legalize safe injecting rooms in San Francisco, with the support of city officials including Mayor London Breed, and has also introduced legislation seeking to authorize new treatment options for methamphetamines.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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