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The Mercury News: California must find middle lane on legalizing psychedelics

Kristin Nash, MPH

Jul 6, 2023

An opinion piece by Kristin Nash for The Mercury News, advocating finding the middle lane in the legalization of psychedelics

Article originally published at The Mercury News, reproduced in part here.


Can we find a middle lane as we consider legalizing psychedelics?

A bill to decriminalize five psychedelics is progressing through the California Legislature. The substances are considered a lifeline by some. But what about the risks?

A Bay Area 21-year-old died recently after taking psilocybin. It was purchased in Oakland where psychedelics are decriminalized. No instructions given. They had an adverse reaction and fell to their death. A Marin County mom lost her 16-year-old when he took psilocybin after reading he could talk to God. Shayne became ecstatic then “flew” off their deck.

I lost my own 21-year-old son Will in an accident caused by psychedelic-induced hallucinations. Two months from college graduation, Will had just started a growing business with a friend.

He was in his home with close friends — like many, they perceived psychedelics as fun and “safe enough.” He took two-grams of mushrooms. Things were casual, relaxed. Until they weren’t. Will had a severe adverse reaction. He felt sick, tried to throw up and went into a psychosis. His friends called for help. Yet, with campus responders on the scene untrained in handling a psychedelic crisis, our beautiful son, detached from reality, mistook one ordinary object for another, and suddenly was gone...

Article continues at The Mercury News

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