Oakland Legalizes Magic Mushrooms

Oakland Becomes 2nd US City to Legalize Magic Mushrooms

Oakland has become the second U.S. city to decriminalize magic mushrooms after speakers testified that psychedelics had helped them overcome depression, drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

BY SAMANTHA MALDONADO, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —

Oakland on Tuesday became the second U.S. city to decriminalize magic mushrooms after a string of speakers testified that psychedelics helped them overcome depression, drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize the adult use and possession of magic mushrooms and other entheogenic, or psychoactive, plants and fungi. Denver voters in May approved a similar measure for people 21 and older.

Speakers overwhelmingly supported the move, describing substances such as ayahuasca and peyote as traditional plant-based medicines.

Use of the plants “saved my life,” said one man who described himself as a former heroin addict. “I don’t how to describe it other than miraculous.”

Some offered mystical descriptions of the hallucinogens as providing spiritual healing.

The vote makes the investigation and arrest of adults who grow, possess, use or distribute entheogenic plants one of the lowest priorities for police. No city funds could be used to enforce laws criminalizing the substances, and the Alameda County District Attorney would stop prosecuting people who have been apprehended for use or possession.

Councilmember Noel Gallo, who introduced the resolution, had said decriminalizing such plants would enable Oakland police to focus on serious crime.

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