Berkeley, California Officials Approve Psychedelics Decriminalization Resolution Amid Pushback From Reform Advocates

Berkeley, California Officials Approve Psychedelics Decriminalization Resolution Amid Pushback From Reform Advocates
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Berkeley, California officials have advanced a proposal to decriminalize certain psychedelics—including synthetics like LSD, rather than focusing more narrowly on entheogenic “natural” plants and fungi as has been the case with similar measures approved in other cities. The Berkeley Community Health Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the resolution, though some advocates oppose particular provisions. The measure, which is uniquely inclusive of LSD while excluding peyote and ibogaine from the list of covered substances, will next go before the City Council for consideration. At Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioners made some changes to the proposal before passing it—which built on a fundamental reshaping of the legislation from its as-introduced form in 2019—but the latest changes have not yet been published. One of the major contentions from advocates who pushed for the introduced version concerns the commission’s omission of provisions that would have deprioritized enforcement against gifting and sharing of the psychedelics among adults from the revised measure. City officials said in an attached report that the decision to leave those components out was related to concerns about inadvertently creating an environment for an illicit, gray market, which the commissioners said has occurred in neighboring Oakland after that city decriminalized psychedelics. “In these gray markets, we see enterprising entrepreneurs opening commercial operations such as delivery services (advertised with fliers and posters), storefront dispensaries, pop-ups, and outdoor market booths, sometimes asking for ‘suggested donations,’ and sometimes not bothering at all with the pretense that they are merely ‘giving away’ the substances,” the report says. The resolution as it came before the commission calls on the local government to deprioritize “the enforcement of laws that impose criminal penalties for the possession of psychedelic drugs for personal use (with the exception of Peyote), and laws that impose criminal penalties for the cultivation, processing, and preparation…

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Source : Berkeley, California Officials Approve Psychedelics Decriminalization Resolution Amid Pushback From Reform Advocates

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