By Alexei Koseff / San Francisco Chronicle

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, plans to introduce a decriminalization bill in the Legislature next year. He was working on it with Assembly members Evan Low, D-Campbell, and Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles.

“Any substance can be harmful, so I’m not suggesting that anything is like nirvana,” Wiener — who said he doesn’t personally take psychedelics — told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But we know that psychedelics can be used safely. We know they appear to have significant medicinal uses.”

Magic mushrooms, touted as a consciousness-expanding drug in the 1960s, have been used in religious or spiritual practices in some cultures for centuries and possibly thousands of years. The mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is responsible for their psychedelic effect. Some researchers believe psilocybin and other drugs show promise in treating depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The war on drugs has been a disaster, in terms of bloating law enforcement, tearing apart communities, criminalizing addiction and spending enormous amounts of money on prisons,” Wiener said. “We need to end the war on drugs. Possession of drugs should just not be a crime.”