Oakland Decriminalizes Magic Mushrooms and Other Natural Psychedelics

Fresh Colombian magic mushrooms legally on sale in Camden market London June 2005 soon selling them will be illegal. . (Photo by Photofusion/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

This is not a hallucination! Oakland has become the second US city to allow the use of magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics. It’s a step forward, but the full green light hasn’t been given yet. It’s still illegal to commercially distribute, sell, or purchase shrooms.

In a city resolution on Tuesday, the Oakland City Council voted to decriminalize the adult use and possession of “entheogenic” plants and fungi. This includes psilocybin (found in shrooms) and other plant-based substances like ayahuasca, peyote, cacti, and iboga.

This approval comes a month after Denver approved a similar measure. However, psychedelic plants and shrooms still remain illegal under California state and federal law, so don’t expect to buy or sell magic mushrooms at your local dispensaries just yet.

Health Benefits That Can Save Oakland City Funds

The approval comes after people testified that psychedelics helped them overcome depression, drug addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. City councilman Noel Gallo introduced the resolution in hopes of allowing Oakland police to focus on more serious crimes.

With this law’s passing, Oakland law enforcement will no longer use city funds to prioritize or investigate psychoactive plant users. However, it will certainly be illegal to drive under the influence of these drugs. Multiple amendments also added to this resolution advise that these natural psychedelics aren’t for everyone. People with serious problems should seek professional help first.

“Entheogenic plants and fungi are tremendous for helping to enable healing, particularly for folks who have experienced trauma in their lives. These plants are being recommended pretty extensively undercover, underground, by doctors and therapists.”

Carlos Plazola, Chairman of Decriminalize Nature Oakland (DNO)

Centuries of Plant-Based Psychedelics Support The Approval

Many speakers at the hearing mentioned the spiritual healing benefits and historical usage of substances like ayahuasca and peyote. Noel Gallo’s agenda report explained how peyote has been used in Native American communities for centuries. According to a controlled substance study at John Hopkins, psilocybin mushrooms have shown a low risk for abuse and proven medicinal benefits as well.

“Half of my family is Native American. I grew up with my grandmother, and those plants were visible in our backyard. We didn’t have a Walgreens in the neighborhood.” When his nephew was severely injured in the Iraq War, Gallo said that “some of these plants were able to help him get his life back together.”

Noelle Gallo, Oakland City Councilman

What The Psychedelic Future Holds

Statewide initiatives continue to brew in this “psychedelic renaissance” that could sweep the rest of California and Oregon soon. Carlos Plazola, chairman of DNO, stated that “Things are starting to roll. We’re getting calls from Los Angeles and other states in the US.”

Advocates are continuing to push for a more rustic approach to remedying mental health issues. We’ve seen cannabis legalization in some states that have opened the gates to more studies and opportunities. Shrooms were made illegal due to political reasons in the 1960s. Could these new monumental decisions be the start to a new era of medicinal reformation?

Thanks, Oakland, for decriminalizing shrooms. You put the “fun guy” in fungi.