SACRAMENTO -- A landmark bill aiming to decriminalize the possession and use of certain hallucinogenic drugs is headed to the governor's desk.
California is one step closer to decriminalizing naturally occurring psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms
If signed into law, Senate Bill 58 would remove criminal penalties for anyone 21 and up in the state from possessing or using psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine, and mescaline.
Researcher and physician, Dr. Alya Ahmad heads ShaMynds Healing Center in Sacramento, a health clinic featuring ketamine-assisted psychotherapy that treats patients with a variety of mental health disorders.
"Treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, trauma," Dr. Ahmad said.
Ketamine is a general anesthetic and "legal" in a medical setting, but it becomes a psychedelic in lower doses.
"Doing this with therapy really helps to elicit the root cause to treatments instead of suppressing treatments," Dr. Ahmad said.
Although ketamine is not labeled in SB58, Dr. Alya Ahmad hopes the bill brings awareness to psychedelic-assisted therapy and helps expand research.
"We're excited to see options for patients who have benefited from other psychedelic medicine and research has shown this," Dr. Ahmad said.
Despite passing through the legislature, a group of moms is speaking out against the bill -- noting safety concerns. Lisa Hudson's son died in an accident in early 2020 while under the influence of psilocybin.
"Something needs to happen to make sure our community and our kids are safe," Hudson said.
Dr. Ahmad agrees, saying that safety should take priority and it all starts with education.
"They are mind manifesting and they have to be done in a supported and safe setting with intention, not to be taken lightly," Dr. Ahmad said.
SB 58 now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom's office for final review. If signed, it is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.
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