California lawmakers are considering a bill that would decriminalize the possession and sharing of hallucinogenic drugs—including LSD, ecstasy and the “date-rape” drug ketamine.
Sen. Scott Wiener, who introduced the bill, told ABC 10 in May that SB 519 is a rebuke on America’s “war on drugs.” And if it passes, he and his colleagues have a follow-up bill in the works to expunge the records of those previously convicted for possession of these psychedelic substances.
“Psychedelics … are helping [people] turn their lives around,” claimed Wiener.
According to Wiener, hallucinogens help manage PTSD, depression and addiction.
Yet the numbers show otherwise. Data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner indicate that death toll from drug abuse continues to escalate, with fatal overdoses this year in San Francisco on pace to exceed that of 2020—a record-breaking year in which more than 700 died.
“Where people are dying on the streets of California from drug overdoses at massive rates, one has to ask Sen. Wiener, is this really a good idea?” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.
Nina Salarno Besselman, president of Crime Victims United of California and a former district attorney, said SB 519 is “akin to fixing the problem of too many red lights out in our streets … by removing them altogether.”
“I don’t need science to tell me that this is a stupid and dangerous piece of legislation,” she quipped.
This all comes at a time when Californians say crime is already on the rise.
According to a new poll by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, 70% of San Franciscans say quality of life in the city has declined, with homelessness and crime as the leading culprits.
“San Francisco’s leaders could be focusing on reducing crime, reducing the burden of taxation on businesses, or repairing the city’s broken homeless response programs,” Jonathan Keller, president and CEO of California Family Council, said in an email to supporters. “They could be trying something new to take on the epidemic of drugs and overdoses. Instead, they’re continuing down the same path that has led to its current state, attempting to legalize even more drugs as the city spirals out of control.”