We have a representative government whereby voters elect people to represent them locally, statewide and nationally. Therefore, it's crucial that we give our representatives guidance on upcoming legislation that will affect our lives, families and communities.
One bill that will affect every community is Senate Bill 58 sponsored by CA Senator Scott Wiener.
The CA Senate approved a bill to decriminalize certain hallucinogenic substances in spite of the fact that the former Chief Medical Officer of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that "psychedelics can cause different negative consequences such as cardiac issues, seizures, severe depression, amnesia, acute anxiety, and hallucination, and are dangerous to users and bystanders alike", and that the California District Attorneys Association argues that psychedelics have “no federally accepted medical use and have a high probability of misuse”.
If you are concerned about increasing the availability and use of psychedelic drugs in your community, please consider signing this petition.
On behalf of the millions of Americans who have lost a loved one to substance use, or have been harmed by drug use, I strongly oppose Senate Bill 58.
SB58 puts policy before science by authorizing the wholesale legalization of numerous psychedelic drugs that have proven to be both dangerous and unpredictable for human consumption. I strongly urge California legislators to reject this bill.
There has been no conclusive evidence from scientific medical research substantiating the efficacy and safety of psychedelics. All drugs should go through proper FDA research and approval process for the protection of citizens. Psychedelics should not be treated differently. According to Dr. Roneet Lev, former Chief Medical Officer of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “Psychedelics can cause different negative consequences such as cardiac issues, seizures, severe depression, amnesia, acute anxiety, and hallucination, and are dangerous to users and bystanders alike.” There are many medications for pain and depression without the serious negative consequences.
Passage of this bill puts young people with developing brains at serious risk. Knowing that the human brain continues to develop into the mid-20s and that during maturation the brain is more susceptible to damage, which includes an increased risk of dependency, this bill directly targets the youth population. Given our national mental health crisis, passing this bill would be like pouring gas on a fire.
Additionally, allowing for social sharing, or “supported use” per SB 58, effectively gives drug dealers a built-in defense. The bill, moreover, authorizes the transfer of psychedelics, and without the word ‘noncommercial’, meaning that even commercial transfer can be allowed. Without adequate details specifying the laws to govern the various aspects of legalization, this is akin to signing a blank check. The fact that all 26 California law enforcement organizations oppose this bill, including the California Narcotic Officers Association and the California District Attorneys Association, warrants serious consideration.
Senator Scott Wiener maintains that SB58 is a pivotal first step to end the war on drugs, which has disproportionately incarcerated people of color. In actuality, many African American leaders have testified that unbridled drug trafficking hurts people of color the most. Worse, the children of the disadvantaged are the biggest victims of all. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, M.D., “We need to know more about how young adults are using drugs like marijuana and hallucinogens, and the health effects that result from consuming different potencies and forms of these substances. Young adults are in a critical life stage and honing their ability to make informed choices. Understanding how substance use can impact the formative choices in young adulthood is critical to help position the new generations for success.”
I urge legislators to soundly reject SB 58. Decriminalizing drug use encourages more people to use drugs, and most significantly, harms the healthy development of youth.