Berkeley Officials Consider Move To Decriminalize Hallucinogens

Officials in Berkeley, Calif., will consider proposals to decriminalize hallucinogens, including LSD.

The move was a byproduct of a long-running project that “dragged on the Berkeley City Council for three years,” it said. Berkeley sideadded that the council was expected to be “reinstated in the coming weeks”.

What distinguishes Berkeley’s proposal from other communities that have moved to legalize psychedelics is that the Northern California city “is a broader proposal and could be the first in the United States to decriminalize LSD.” . according to to Berkeleyside.

“Of the 15 U.S. cities that eased restrictions on psychedelics, none contained this synthetic psychedelic. I explained that the logic is that it meets the technical definition of psychedelic. Berkeley side reported.

“The Berkeley resolution was first drafted by Oakland-based nonprofit Decriminalize Nature in 2019 and proposed to decriminalize only natural psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca and mescaline cacti,” it said. outlet continuation“This resolution took two years in the hands of the city’s Community Health Commission (CHC), one of 22 civic committees that advise the city council. Two commissioners, Adams and Smart, have completely rewritten it: if approved by the City Council, personal consumption of psychedelics will no longer be a crime in Berkeley, except that sharing, serving and distributing psychedelics It remains a crime.”

According to the NBC Bay Area, Berkeley’s “city health board unanimously decided to recommend to the city council that psychedelic use be decriminalized.”

The legalization and decriminalization of psychedelics has emerged as the latest frontier in the US drug reform movement.

Earlier this month, Democratic Senator Cory Booker and Republican Senator Rand Paul announced that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would classify treatments, including psilocybin and MDMA, to improve access for patients and researchers. submitted a bill requesting

“Recent research suggests that some Schedule I substances, such as MDMA and psilocybin, may offer significant advances in the treatment of severe post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and addiction. “Unfortunately, the regulatory complexity and set of bureaucratic hurdles involved in the study of Schedule I substances hinder significant research on these and other promising Schedule I compounds. We will alleviate these unfairly burdensome rules and regulations that delay or impede our ability to research this entire class of potential medicines, and patient access.”

Paul said he was proud to co-lead this legislation with Sen. Booker, known as the Breakthrough Therapy Act.

“This bill will make it easier for researchers to conduct research that could lead to breakthrough therapies to treat patients battling serious, life-threatening conditions,” Paul said in a statement. said in

The legislation gained the endorsement of Martin R. Steele, a former U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general who heads the Coalition of Veteran Mental Health Leadership.

“We urge Congress to responsibly reduce barriers to research and expedite breakthrough therapies that limit access to potentially life-saving treatments like MDMA and psilocybin-assisted therapy. I urge you to do so,” Steele said. “Veterans should not be forced to leave their country at great expense to access breakthrough treatments that are safely delivered and can be further studied here at home in real-world settings. .

If the bill is passed and becomes law, the DEA will be required to reschedule the aforementioned substances under the Controlled Substances Act.

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