California Lawmakers Withdraw Psychedelic Therapy Bill for Veterans

California Lawmakers Withdraw Psychedelic Therapy Bill for Veterans

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
July 05, 2024
1 min

A California bill that aimed to decriminalize and regulate the therapeutic use of psychedelics for veterans and first responders has been withdrawn. Senate Bill 803, or the Heal Our Heroes Act, marked the fourth attempt in recent years to legalize the therapeutic use of psychedelics. The bipartisan bill proposed to allow San Francisco, San Diego, and Santa Cruz countries to run facilities where, over a three-year period, veterans and former first responders could use psilocybin under the care of a licensed physician.

The measure had already undergone several technical revisions before reaching the committee. At the previous month’s hearing, Senator Scott Weiner agreed to further amend the bill, requiring that psychedelic facilitators possess professional health licenses such as those held by psychiatrists, social workers, drug and alcohol counselors, or nurse practitioners.

Yet despite these efforts, the bill faced significant opposition in the Assembly Health Committee and was halted from reaching Governor Newsom’s desk. While the measure’s goals were limited to aiding strictly veterans, the bill’s detractors raised concerns about the broader implications of decriminalizing psychedelics, even under regulated conditions.

They argued that more research and regulatory frameworks are required to ensure the safe and effective use of psychedelics, pointing out the potential risks and need for more studies on the substance’s long-term effects. 

Nevertheless, Senator Weiner and other advocates remain committed to the cause. Their next steps involve refining their approach, using the feedback they gained, and building a stronger coalition for future legislative efforts. Advocates argue that establishing a regulated framework for psychedelic use is necessary for advancing mental health care and providing support to those who have served the country.

“As the Alliance, we’re committed to this issue, and will be discussing internally our path forward to continue educating the public and promoting safety after repeated inaction through the legislative process,” Jared Moffat, ASUP’s campaign director, stated in a press release. “We’re not backing down, and will keep pushing to ensure facilitated access to psychedelics becomes a reality in California and that Californians are protected from harm.”


Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

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