CA Plan to Legalize Psychedelics is Dangerous for Mental Health & Patient Lives

California legislators apprise themselves of past psychedelic drug research risks and prevent a reoccurrence of this failed and dangerous practice. – CCHR International

California policy makers are being asked to support the resurgence of a past failed and dangerous psychiatric-psychedelic drug practice that went from a research lab to the couch to the streets, to the CIA and now back again to the lab, to again put patients at risk.

By CCHR International
The Mental Health Industry Watchdog
August 13, 2021

California legislators are considering passing a law, SB 519 that will legalize possession of psychedelic drugs and promote researching the mind-altering chemicals as treatment for “mental illness.”[1] A petition that Citizens Commission on Human Rights Sacramento posted online opposes the bill, joining many others who disagree with it.[2] CCHR International, the headquarters of which are based in Los Angeles, said the bill is part of a growing concern that psychiatrists’ failure to effectively treat substance abuse, addiction and mental problems can be helped by past failed “therapies.” The bill is dangerous to people’s mental health, given the known risks of these drugs.

Proponents of the bill and psychiatrists and researchers argue the misnomer that to end the “War on Drugs,” there should be access to LSD, psilocybin and other mind-altering chemicals that are already widely available on the illicit market. But it is the street use of the psychiatric hallucinogen that contributed to Congress shutting down all LSD mind-control research in 1977.[3]

It stands to reason that for the market to reappear there’s profit to be made. The psychedelic “therapy” industry is predicted to reach $7 billion by 2027.[4] Laws like the proposed California one will help make that target sooner.

In a potential conflict of interest, the special advisor on mental health to the Governor of California who would sign the bill into law, is Thomas Insel, psychiatrist and former director of the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), who is an investor and advisor in a company developing the hallucinogenic drug, psilocybin for “treatment-resistant depression.” The company, Compass, is running a ­clinical trial that’s typically the second-to-last stage before a drug gets the Food and Drug Administration’s approval—and has made enough synthetic doses of the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms to supply more than 30,000 patients, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.[5] Paul Summergrad, former head of the American Psychiatric Association is also an advisor to the company.[6]

The bill claims research is advancing to support the use of psychedelic compounds with psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder. It allows for the “noncommercial, personal use and sharing of specified controlled substances, including for the purposes of group counseling and community-based healing, or other related services.”[7]

A working group is to be established to study, without limitation, the available research on the use of controlled substances specified in a “therapeutic setting” for treating mental health conditions. Yet, medical experts as far back as the 1960s said LSD can induce a “psychotic psychedelic experience characterized by intense fear to the point of panic, paranoid delusions of suspicion or grandeur, toxic confusion, depersonalization” and all of these could “be of powerful magnitude.”[8]

Such research being resurrected today demonstrates a fundamental disregard for human life because of the drugs’ mind-altering properties, also borne out by the psychiatric-intelligence community’s past research of LSD, psilocybin and amphetamines. The research into LSD and amphetamines, as documented by Tom O’ Neill in Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties, begs the question about hallucinogenic drug research today, which the bill supports. The extensively researched book is based around Charles Manson and the Family who, after many months of LSD use, gruesomely murdered nine-month pregnant actress, Sharon Tate (Valley of the Dolls) and four others in California August 1969.[9]

O’Neill pointed out that in the two years before the Manson murders, several papers in the Journal of Psychedelics and other periodicals looked into the increase of psychotic violence in the Haight Ashbury area and its potential link to amphetamines and LSD.[10] In 1966, CIA-collaborator, California psychiatrist Louis Jolyn (“Jolly”) West was in Haight-Ashbury to study LSD and the counterculture.  In a 1967 psychiatry textbook, West wrote that LSD was known to leave users “unusually susceptible and emotionally labile.”[11]

CCHR suggests California legislators apprise themselves of past psychedelic drug research risks and prevent a reoccurrence of this failed and dangerous practice.




[3] “Renewed Psychedelic Drug Research is a Bad ‘Trip’ for Mental Health,” CCHR International, 5 Feb. 2020,; Brianna Nofil, “The CIA’s Appalling Human Experiments with Mind Control,” The History Channel,

[4] “CCHR Warns Against $7 Billion Psychedelic Drug Push to Treat Mental Issues,” CCHR International, 2 Mar. 2021,, citing: Derek Beres, “How will psychiatrists administer psychedelic treatments?” Big Think, 1 Feb 2021,

[5] Op. cit., CCHR International, 5 Feb. 2020,  citing: Shroom-Therapy Startup Edges Toward FDA Approval: The feds have designated Compass Pathways’ experimental psilocybin treatment for depression a ‘breakthrough therapy,’” Bloomberg Businessweek, 6 Jan. 2020,;

[6] Op. cit., CCHR International, 5 Feb. 2020


[8] Op. cit., CCHR International, 2 Mar. 2021, citing: Wayne O. Evans, Ph.D. and Nathan S. Kline, M.D., Psychotropic Drugs in The Year 2000: Use by Normal Humans (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1971), p. 89

[9] Op. cit., CCHR International, 5 Feb. 2020

[10] Ibid., Citing: Tom O’ Neill, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties, (Little, Brown & Co. New York, June 2019),  pp. 312-319.

[11] Tom O’Neill, Dan Piepenbring, “Inside the Archive of an LSD Researcher with Ties to the CIA’s MKUltra Mind Control Project: Louis Jolyon West seems to have used chemicals and hypnosis liberally in his medical practice, possibly leading to the death of a child and the execution of an innocent man,” Intercept, 24 Nov. 2019,