Oakland, California has become the second city in the United States to decriminalize the use and possession of psychedelic mushrooms and other naturally grown psychedelics. That means adults over the age of 21 can now possess hallucinogens derived from those sources without worrying about facing any criminal penalties — a change that could encourage more people to explore their potential medical benefits.
Along with mushrooms containing psilocybin, the resolution also decriminalizes other psychedelics naturally derived from plants or fungi, such as ayahuasca, peyote and DMT, a move that makes Oakland the second city in the nation to do so. Last month, Denver voters approved a similar ballot initiative that decriminalizes the magic mushrooms. Synthetic psychedelics like LSD and MDMA, are still illegal.
The Oakland City Council passed the resolution Tuesday night that decriminalizes certain natural psychedelics, a move that makes Oakland the second city in the nation to do so. A ballot measure in Denver to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms was approved earlier this year. Likewise, Similar efforts to make psilocybin accessible to those in need are currently underway in Oregon and Iowa.
The initiative was led by Decriminalize Nature Oakland, an advocacy group aimed at decriminalizing entheogenic plants, restoring our root connection to nature, and improving human health and well-being. The resolution also does not legalize the sale or distribution of psychedelic mushrooms.
Health Benefits Of Magic Mushrooms
Ahead of the vote, advocates for decriminalization spoke in front of the council, including one who said the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms “saved” his life.
The possible therapeutic effects of psychedelics got the attention of the Oakland City Council. The decision to approve decriminalization reportedly came after the Oakland City Council heard testimony from people who said psychedelics helped them battle depression, drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Anecdotally, psychedelics like psilocybin can be taken in micro-doses to improve concentration, creativity and alertness.
“For millennia, cultures have respected entheogenic plants and fungi for providing healing, knowledge, creativity, and spiritual connection,” the report states. “This initiative aims to empower the Oakland community by restoring their relationship to nature.”
Studies have shown that psilocybin mushrooms could treat depression. In a study published in Lancet Psychiatry in 2016, treatment with psilocybin markedly reduced depressive symptoms in one week in patients who experienced depression. Improvements in anxiety and anhedonia were also recorded.
An example the rest of the world should follow.