Home>Articles>Sen. Wiener’s Psychedelic Drug Decriminalization Bill Skips Crucial Committee Vote, Heads Straight To Senate
Scott Wiener
Senator Scott Wiener. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Sen. Wiener’s Psychedelic Drug Decriminalization Bill Skips Crucial Committee Vote, Heads Straight To Senate

Wiener invoked Senate rule to go around Appropriations Committee

By Evan Symon, May 3, 2023 2:32 am

A bill t0 decriminalize plant-based psychedelic drugs was moved directly to the Senate without a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this week thanks to bill author Senator Scott Wiener invoking a bypass rule.

First introduced in December of last year, Senate Bill 58 by Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) proposed to decriminalize plant-based and other natural hallucinogens such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms), dimethyltryptamine (psychedelic drug DMT), ibogaine (psychedelic substance), and mescaline (psychedelic hallucinogen). In addition, law enforcement would be unable to charge those holding the drugs with a criminal penalty while also still being completely illegal for minors.

SB 58 also will remove bans on having psilocybin or psilocyn spores that can produce mushrooms, and on having drug paraphernalia associated with all decriminalized drugs. Specific limits outlined by the bill include up to 2 grams of DMT, 15 grams of Ibogaine, and 2 grams of Psilocybin.

The bill is a significantly pared down version of SB 519, first introduced in January 2021 by Weiner that would have not only legalized the psychedelics in SB 58, but also would have included synthetic hallucinogens such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine (“dissociative anesthetic”), and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy, molly). However, the bill was amended heavily in 2021 and 2022, removing ketamine and other troubling parts for legislators and oppositions groups, such as law enforcement agencies. Despite the changes, the bill was still gutted in August, removing everything but a single study on the use of the remaining drugs. SB 58 continued to water down the bill, removing peyote from the proposed decriminalization list and removing a provision to study future reforms. In March, it was finally passed by the Senate Public Safety Committee, with an Appropriations Committee hearing then set for several weeks later.

“These are not addictive drugs,” said Senator Wiener. “And these are drugs that have significant potential in helping people to navigate and to become healthy who are experiencing mental health, challenges substance use challenges. We know that cities in California and elsewhere have passed resolutions to categorize enforcement of these particular criminal laws as the lowest law enforcement priority. This is an important step for California. This is about making sure that people have access to substances that they need that are not addictive.”

However, rather than let the legislative process continue, Wiener invoked Senate Rule 28.8. According to the California Senate website, the rule states that ” If the Chair determines that any state costs of a bill are not significant, the measure will be sent directly to the Senate Floor for Second Reading without a hearing in the committee. There is no public analysis prepared for bills that are approved by the Chair pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, because there is no public hearing.”

Essentially, because there was a negligible fiscal impact, Wiener managed to avoid the Appropriations Committee, which often picks apart drug bills, and sent it directly for a Senate vote. While completely legal to do so, opponents pointed out that the bill missed out on scrutiny from a vital Committee, and may have even been killed there if not for the Senator.

“This bill affects a lot of people’s lives,” explained former police officer and current drug counselor Marty Ribera to the Globe on Tuesday. “You can’t just skip discussion of it. We are talking about decriminalizing harmful substances that, yes, may have medical benefits. This is a complicated subject, and some of these drugs can also harm people. There is a lot to really set into stone here, but here we are going around committees just because this guy wants it passed.”

“Psychedelics help some, but harm others. We need that line, and the bill isn’t giving it just yet. It isn’t like marijuana where we can just treat it like alcohol either. Hopefully the Senate has enough sense to pump the brakes on this and give it the closer scrutiny it deserves.”

SB 58 is due for a Senate vote soon.

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21 thoughts on “Sen. Wiener’s Psychedelic Drug Decriminalization Bill Skips Crucial Committee Vote, Heads Straight To Senate

  1. “And these are drugs that have significant potential in helping people to navigate and to become healthy who are experiencing mental health, challenges substance use challenges.”

    Perfect! Everyone knows that the best way to get people off illegal drugs is to give them free access to even more illegal drugs. There is no level of perversion to which Wiener will not ascend.

  2. So the “more drugs” bill is whisked through without a committee stop while the “less drugs” bill – fentanyl dealers can maybe get charged with murder if they do it more than once – is crushed in committee and even though 21 Democrats say they support it none have bothered to invoke the same bypass rule.
    Pretty much sums it up.

    1. Assuming that your “less drugs bill” is/was SB 44, it should be pointed out that it failed in Public Safety, not in Appropriations. Rule 28 can only bypass Appropriations. It also should be pointed out that there were no votes against, but only the author actually voted for it.

    2. Meanwhile the Associated Press reports that 110 Californians overdose and die every week.

  3. Seriously? Scott Wiener’s irritating SB 58 psychedelics bill, which every year, in one form or another, comes back from the dead like a super-annoying zombie, is able to SKIP the Appropriations Committee because its “Chair” waved it through? Apparently cooperating with Wiener by saying, in essence, “no problem, it won’t cost anything, so just send it straight to the Senate?” Are you people freaking kidding me? Because meanwhile, any number of actually SENSIBLE bills that have IMPORTANT impacts for public safety and, you know, murder, rape, mayhem and the like are struck down and killed in that first “public safety” committee?

    Because of this nonsense I tried this morning to get a bead on what further horrors were happening with implementation of Oregon’s recent psychedelics free-for-all legislation and the article below popped up. A writer, “depressed,” tried micro-dosing hallucinogens, and happily (so he says) found himself becoming more narcissistic and hedonistic than ever! Sounds like a joke, and maybe it is, even in now-degraded CA. Or maybe it is even further motivation for Wiener to try to once again jam this nonsense through, and by any means necessary. Pathetic.
    “I Started Microdosing Psychedelics and Explored My Gender Expression” [*eyeroll*]
    Find and contact Senators here:
    Assembly members here:
    Tell them to VOTE NO on SB 58

    1. Pathetic for sure!
      That sums up society right now, how can one become more selfish in action and thought.
      Living for oneself in my opinion leaves one empty and searching for the next high.
      We have a demonic spirit working through Scott Wiener to encourage a dead end life.
      California legislation now does not even pretend to go through normal procedure, what’s the point when they all think and vote alike?
      Pathetic and sad.

      1. You’re so right, Cali Girl, with all of what you’ve said, especially –
        “We have a demonic spirit working through Scott Wiener to encourage a dead end life.”
        It IS sad. Sometimes overwhelmingly so.
        It’s tempting to think we’ve hit the bottom in CA (and elsewhere) and there is nowhere to go now but “up.”
        I sure hope so but we’ll see, of course. In the meantime it’s good to know that so many people are paying attention and continuing to speak up. You and all the other good people who appear here in the comment section, for example. Such a spirit-lifter during these difficult times. 🙂

        1. I so agree it is very sad. I hope this is rock bottom as well.
          The awakening is happening and I am so happy to see new commenters on here.
          It is up lifting to read although the subject material is dark.
          Faith and humor keep me going, who needs mushrooms those are so 1980😂

  4. Evil Scott Wiener and his crony Democrats are probably whisking this legislation through because they want as many of California’s population as possible drugged out of their minds so they won’t care that the state has become a hellhole because of Democrat policies.

    1. No kidding, Tony. Much is always made of how stripped-down this bill has become over the years, but I don’t think that matters because apparently the point for Wiener et al is to keep a foot in the door. Either for further psychedelic flood gates opening later and/or for eventual legalization of all drugs, from heroin to meth to fentanyl; all of it.
      Lost Portland Oregon is now more lost than ever, more Night of the Living Dead than ever, because they have “decriminalized” all drugs. Who knows? —- maybe what we are seeing is a slow preparation for the 24/7 “virtual world” nightmare these people want rabble like us to “live” in. Is their idea that it would not only appear more attractive to us but might be viewed as downright necessary to escape the reality-nightmare they have built?

    1. Oh no, CD9. I’m very sorry to hear this. It’s a terrible, terrible idea. And there will be more drug “decriminalization” to come.
      As you know…

  5. Democrats always throw in the word “medical” for any drug they want to legalize. People need to stop believing these lying Democrats. There is nothing medical about it. It’s called “damaging your brain, so it no longer functions properly.” It’s called “dismantling a civil society”, and replacing it with a totalitarian government. There is a reason these drugs are illegal in almost every country.

    Time to call my representatives again. Thanks goes to the California Globe for giving us the heads up BEFORE it is voted on (unlike the rest of the media that only reports on it after it is passed.

  6. This move by Wiener and the State Senate is murder of our children and population of our state. This is why I am running for Ca State Assembly 18 in 2024. We need to put an end to the drug lobby/ green agenda agents from running our state. This is deliberate, we need to replace this leadership. We have a drug problem because we leave people like Wiener and Mia and Rob Bonta is office. There is a truth for human creative development that founded this nation and state. Join me in a slate run for office, we need new leaders who know what it is to be human in the image of the creator. Mindy Pechenuk, Republican Candidate for State Assembly 18 in 2024

  7. With the Dem supermajority in place for well over a decade – California is no longer a democracy. We now live in a place where not only can a simple majority (cities) subvert the rights of minorities (rural communities), this super-majority has created oddball leaders like Weiner how are reshaping the state where the fringe is elevated above all and we’re forced not only to tolerate them – America, but to CELEBRATE their freaky oddness.

    California is lost. After 3 generations of ranching – the last in considerable decline due to regs, we’re out and heading for the Free State of Florida. So Long Banana Republic.

  8. These drugs (psilocybin/DMT) are neither addictive, nor do they induce a “high”, and they have scant toxicity –tylenol is more dangerous in an overdose. They have significant effect on many with depression that has not responded to any other treatment. They offer, when done within the context of appropriate therapy , the possibility to give people their lives back. Someone commits suicide every 30 seconds, somewhere, mostly due to depression often with anxiety. Some of these medicines have shown great benefit in treating addiction–getting people OFF lethal drugs like opiates and amphetamines, and alcohol. So before you demonize Senator Wiener, or these substances, talk to someone who knows about them. What if your child suffered from an untreatable disease–would you want them to have access to something SAFE that might decrease their suffering ?

    1. Sen Scott Wiener calls mutilating surgery on the private parts of minor children and also the administration of mind-bending cross-gender hormones “gender-affirming care” and has constantly argued and pushed for it. This is actually all a person needs to know about Scott Wiener, but oh, there’s SO MUCH MORE horrifying bullet points on his resume.

      We hear bogus sob story arguments being made to legalize these drugs, but fake stories are obviously not a reason to allow it. People commenting here who do not want this next step to legalizing ALL drugs have made all sorts and varieties of completely valid arguments for objecting to such legislation.

      And, by the way, stop with the fake names and the “M.D.” identities; we’re not buying them. Whether the whole thing is about money, payoffs, or the delight that some people feel from making California more of a hellhole than it was before, it doesn’t matter. Most Californians don’t want this and the further slide into chaos and hell that it represents. Period.

      What’s more, Californians(?) like yourself have consistently lied about mind-altering substances with regard to legalization, have been proven wrong while others have had to take the consequences, and not one of you proponents has even had the courtesy to apologize for the immense damage you have done. So go try and sell this crap in another state (or country). We don’t want it. Thanks.

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