SB 519 (Wieber) – Oppose

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The Voice for Victims and Public Safety

June 14, 2021

The Honorable Jim Wood, Chairman
Assembly Health Committee
California State Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Senate Bill 519 (Wieber) – Opposition

Dear Chairman Wood,

We are writing in strong opposition to Senate Bill 519, which would decriminalize a wide variety of needfully controlled, hallucinogenic substances.

Whatever compassion the author thinks he is offering, in practice this bill would put countless Californians in serious, life-threatening danger.

If passed, SB 519, would legalize the possession and social sharing of illegal drugs including LSD, (acid), MDMA (ecstasy/molly), ketamine (date rape drug), psilocybin/ psilocyn (magic mushroom), DMT, and ibogaine for persons 21 or older.

While we recognize that a rare subgroup of therapists have incorporated these illicit drugs into treatment of certain mental health disorders, this by no means justifies their wholesale legalization for the masses — who are not necessarily under the watchful eye of a licensed therapist. Nor does it mean their use is a universally accepted practice even in the mental health community. This is not the case.

In addition to being highly addictive, these specific hallucinogenic drugs have the following dangerous side effects for those who take them: increased heart rate and blood pressure (which can lead to cardiac events), blurred vision, seizures, trouble breathing, increased body temperature, vivid visual and auditory hallucinations (sometimes very frightening), panic, paranoia, psychosis, and flashbacks.

While it is rare for individuals to overdose on these drugs alone, when mixed with other incompatible drugs (a common occurrence) or situations such as dehydration or an unsafe environment — they can be just as deadly.

And hallucinogenic drugs can also be very dangerous to others. SB 519 decriminalizes ketamine (aka Special K/ Super K / Vitamin K), most commonly known as the “date rape” drug, because it is odorless and tasteless, can be added to beverages without being detected, and induces amnesia.

Also, according to California District Attorneys’ Association, there is evidence that the hallucinogenic effects of LSD — which last from 12-24 hours, and commonly involve “bad trips” — can result in murders. At least 11 LSD-related homicides have been reported.

Former Governor Brown maintained that California had not put enough effort and resources into drug prevention treatment. Yet this bill takes the exact opposite approach. SB 519 is akin to fixing the problem of too many red-light violations by removing the lights altogether — and we can expect the same result: thousands of lives heading full speed into a lifethreatening situation that you could have prevented.

Please do not knowingly send thousands of your very own constituents racing to their death. VOTE NO ON SB 519.


Harriet Salarno
Chair / Founder

Nina Salarno-Besselman