Oakland, California is now the second city in the United States, following Denver last month, to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Oakland City Council unanimously passed the resolution on Tuesday. From NPR:
Oakland's resolution is broader than Denver's. Denver's initiative decriminalized the use and possession of mushrooms containing the compound psilocybin, whereas Oakland's refers to "entheogenic plants" in general, which includes the mushrooms and other plants and fungi containing psychoactive substances.
The resolution says city money will not be used "to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of Entheogenic Plants by adults." It says that investigating people for growing, buying, distributing or possessing the substances "shall be amongst the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Oakland…."
(The substances') possible therapeutic effects were highlighted in an agenda report filed to City Council by the resolution's sponsor, Council member Noel Gallo.
"For millennia, cultures have respected entheogenic plants and fungi for providing healing, knowledge, creativity, and spiritual connection," the report states, saying that these plants may be beneficial for conditions such as substance abuse, anxiety and PTSD. "This initiative aims to empower the Oakland community by restoring their relationship to nature."
These substances are currently not legal under federal and state law.