Things Get Trippy in California
In trying to explain to his partner why youngsters ingest “garbage” like psychedelic drugs, LAPD Sgt. Joe Friday (played by Jack Webb), says in a 1968 episode of the cop show Dragnet: “You see it over in juvenile. Eight- and nine-year old glue sniffers. They keep telling us that our society’s more sophisticated. Looks like we’ve got the drugs to go along with it, doesn’t it?”
Dragnet was set in Los Angeles and the city’s southern California environs. Throughout the 1960s, the iconic TV series was part of the American establishment’s fight against the rising counterculture of the era. Marijuana and psychedelics were often the targets of the long-running show’s propaganda.
Fast forward to last week’s political events in California. Psychedelic substances are on the verge of getting legalized on the state level. (Sorry, Joe.)
A California bill to legalize the possession of certain psychedelics and to facilitate their use passed the Senate last week.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), was approved on the floor in a vote of 21-16 last Wednesday and now heads to the Assembly for consideration, where it’s expected to pass.
If the bill legalizing psychedelics passes both chambers, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is expected to sign it.
The monetary stakes are enormous. Recreational and medical marijuana are state-legal in California; psychedelics already are legal in several localities. Publicly traded marijuana companies in the state are poised to make major forays into the ancillary sector of psychedelics.
California constitutes the world’s largest single marijuana market, in terms of annual sales. If California were a sovereign nation, it would rank in terms of nominal gross domestic product as the world’s fifth largest economy
California tends to be a cultural trend-setter for the entire nation. Microdosing psychedelics has become a big fad in the state, from Silicon Valley executive suites to the middle-class suburbs to the streets of Los Angeles.
The legalization of hallucinogens in California would motivate a slew of states and localities from coast to coast to follow suit.
SB 58 would legalize the “possession, preparation, obtaining, transfer, as specified, or transportation of” specific amounts of psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for personal or facilitated use.
Besides personal possession being legalized, the bill would also specifically provide for “group counseling and community-based healing” involving the substances (see the following tweet).
“This is a tremendously hopeful step for veterans and all those who wish to benefit from psychedelics to heal from PTSD, anxiety, and depression, or simply to improve their well-being,” Wiener told the press last week. “We came extremely close to decriminalizing these promising treatments in the last legislative session, and after deep engagement with stakeholders, we made changes to limit our proposal to naturally occurring substances and retain quantity limits to ensure these five naturally-occurring substances are for personal use only.”
“We shouldn’t be criminalizing people for personal use of these non-addictive substances. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly to provide relief for the suffering of so many,” Wiener added.
The bill would also repeal state law prohibiting “any spores or mycelium capable of producing mushrooms or other material which contain psilocybin or psilocyn.” The state ban on drug paraphernalia for the covered substances also would be terminated under the bill.
The “allowable amount” section of the proposed legislation prescribes the following psychedelics possession limits: DMT, 2 grams; ibogaine, 15 grams; psilocybin, 2 grams, or up to 4 ounces of “a plant or fungi containing psilocybin.” Psilocyn, 2 grams, or up to 4 ounces of “a plant or fungi containing psilocyn.”
It’s worth noting that the bill excludes synthetic psychedelics such as LSD from the list that would be legalized and encompasses only those “natural” substances that are derived from plants or fungi. The notion that LSD is somehow more dangerous would please Sgt. Friday, but medical researchers say it’s unsupported by the empirical data.
Editor’s Note: More than 50 psychedelics companies have gone public so far in the U.S., with a collective valuation of more than $2 billion.
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John Persinos is the chief investment strategist of Marijuana Profit Alert. To learn more about his investment service, visit this URL.