Oakland, CA Decriminalizes Psychedelic Mushrooms

The times, they are a changin’, as Bob Dylan once sang. What was once illicit and counter culture is now becoming more and more commonplace. According to a report from BoingBoing (via NPR), the city of Oakland, California is now the second city in the United States to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, as well as peyote. The first city to pass a similar law was Denver, Colorado last month. The Oakland City Council unanimously passed the resolution on June 5.

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Now before anyone reading this gets too excited, it should be noted that taking hallucinogenic mushrooms for recreation is still illegal under federal and state laws. And the wording of this resolution is very specific. And there are differences between the Oakland law and the Denver law. While Denver decriminalized the use and possession of mushrooms containing the compound psilocybin, over in Oakland it’s all “entheogenic plants.” And that includes the mushrooms and other fungi containing psychoactive substances.

This also does not count any drugs that are synthetic ones, like LSD or MDMA. The approved resolution also does not authorize any types of commercial sales or manufacturing of the plants, possessing or distributing in schools or driving under the influence. Mushrooms and peyote are said to have helped many who suffer from depression, PTSD, anxiety, and their testimony went a long way in ensuring the city council passed the new law.

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A lot of folks are hoping this starts a wave across the country, and it very well might. Just a decade ago, it seemed highly unlikely that we’d see as many medical marijuana dispensaries as we do, and yet many major cities all around the country have them now. It’s just a fact of life. Will it be the same for shrooms and peyote in just a few years time? The next few years should prove to be interesting in this regard to say the least.

Images: Nintendo / Walt Disney Company / Hanna-Barbera  

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