Oakland, California Votes To Decriminalize ‘Magic Mushrooms’ And Peyote

Psilocybe semilanceata.Patrick Ullrich/CC BY-SA 3.0

Oakland became the second U.S. city to decriminalize the drugs after Denver, Colorado, did so last month.

Oakland, California, became the second U.S. city to decriminalize “magic mushrooms” and peyote this week after the city council voted on the measure Tuesday, according to USA Today.

Denver, Colorado, was the first city to make the move, decriminalizing hallucinogenic fungi on May 8.

Oakland law enforcement officials were instructed to stop investigating and prosecuting people for the use or possession of the plant-based drugs.

Containing the hallucinogen psilocybin, such drugs “have been used by various cultures for hundreds of years for everything from spiritual quests to helping battle psychiatric imbalances such as post-traumatic stress syndrome,” according to advocates for decriminalization.

Along with the resolution, the council offered guidance for individuals opting to use the drug, including recommendations that they start off with small amounts until they gauge their reaction to the substance; seek guidance from experts on the drug’s use; and have a sober friend with them while they experiment with the hallucinogen.

In support of the measure, Susana Eager Valadez, director of the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts, “noted that indigenous cultures use hallucinogenic plants in a ritual way, not casually, and are guided by shamans and elders.”

Efforts to decriminalize the drug are also in progress in Oregon and Iowa, USA Today reported.

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