Oakland City Council Decriminalizes Natural Psychedelics

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In a move that could be signs of major, transformative policy changes to come, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously in support of the decriminalization of natural hallucinogens on Tuesday, June 4th. In other words, hallucinogenic mushrooms and other plants with similar properties, like certain cacti, are now decriminalized. That makes Oakland the second city to decriminalize mushrooms with psilocybin, as Denver similarly decriminalized psilocybin recently.

However, the Oakland City Council rule is much more sweeping than the Denver change. All natural hallucinogenics have effectively become decriminalized in Oakland. That means that a wide range of plants that people use for therapeutic and spiritual purposes will no longer carry criminal repercussions for those that possess them.

Entheogens, which is a fancy word for naturally occurring substances that produce psychedelics or spiritual experiences, are largely criminalized and prohibited across the United States. This criminalization ignores the fact that there are provable medical benefits for many psychedelic substances, to say nothing of their ritual uses.

In a country plagued with increasing levels of addiction and mental health issues, safe substances that could provide relief would be popular with people from all backgrounds. It is likely that the decriminalization of psilocybin and other natural hallucinogens will have a positive impact on people’s willingness to try these amazing medicines.

The illegality of substances and plants largely contributes to the social stigma attached to them. When you remove the laws prohibiting their possession or use, you remove one of the major deterrents for the average person who could benefit from these amazing plants and fungi.

Ladybud wants to give a shout out to all of the incredible activists involved in bringing this law into being, including the indomitable Amber E. Senter and other members of Decriminalize Nature. The new law in Oakland is a major win for the legalization community and for Oakland as well!

For previous Ladybud articles about psychedelics, click here.

Photo Credit: Alan Rockefeller via Wikimedia Commons under (CC BY-SA 4.0)