Another City Decriminalizes Magic Mushrooms

Oakland, Calif., follows Denver's lead
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2019 7:27 AM CDT
Magic Mushrooms, Peyote Decriminalized in This US City
A vendor bags psilocybin mushrooms at a pop-up cannabis market in Los Angeles on May 6, 2019.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Oakland, Calif., has followed Denver's lead in decriminalizing magic mushrooms—but also peyote and ayahuasca. The move came Tuesday after a unanimous vote by the Oakland City Council, which directed law enforcement to stop investigating and prosecuting individuals for possession or use of plant-derived hallucinogens, reports USA Today. Ahead of the vote, supporters described the drugs as medicines that help with trauma, depression, addiction, and anxiety, and support mental health overall. Some also noted their ritual role in indigenous cultures.

"Growing up in the Mexican community, this was our cure," said councillor Noel Gallo, who introduced the resolution, per KTLA. A doctor was among the critics, however, arguing city officials should watch Denver before allowing recreational use. Councillor Loren Taylor instead added use guidelines, one of which directs users to start with only small amounts of the drugs. Magic mushrooms remain illegal under both federal and state laws, while peyote, ayahuasca, and other entheogenic substances are banned federally as Schedule 1 drugs, per ABC News. (Denver's move came after a public vote.)

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