City Council of Oakland, California has voted unanimously to decriminalize possession of use of plants, cacti, and mushrooms containing hallucinogen psilocybin. This includes peyote and what is most commonly known as the magic mushrooms.
The vote happened on June 4th, about a month after Denver, Colorado did the same. After the vote, law enforcement can no longer investigate or prosecute those using magic mushrooms and similar plant psychedelics. Instead, they will have more time to tackle issues that are actually criminal in nature.
Healing from PTSD, Depression, Anxiety
This is a huge win for people using psychedelics to heal themselves and address depression, anxiety, trauma and PTSD, as more studies come out supporting these types of benefits. Psychedelics are also used for recovery from addiction from drugs such as heroin.
“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 said before the council meeting. She is the chair of the advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Oakland.
Traditional Plant Medicine Use
This decriminalization is also celebrated by those using natural hallucinogens also called plant medicine for spiritual, shamanic, and cultural ceremonies and rituals as was done by indigenous cultures for centuries.
Today, it is freeing to be able to use and create your own ritual surrounding the plant medicine. It is, however, highly recommended to learn from the shamans to use psychedelics with respect and purpose.
“It’s the plants that are going to bring us back to sanity. We’ve got to listen to their message and we’ve got to live reciprocally with nature and restore the natural order," told Susana Eager Valadez to USA Today. She is the director of the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts and supports the traditional ceremonial use of magic mushrooms.
Will Mushroom Become Legal?
Decriminalization of magic mushrooms is also on Oregon state ballot for 2020 elections.
Full legalization will happen if the magic mushrooms are removed from the federal Schedule 1 drug list. It is possible to happen, as last year Johns Hopkins University recommended that the FDA changed psilocybin to Schedule IV drug, meaning low risk for abuse.
Same year psilocybin was named a “breakthrough therapy" for depression by one medical company experimenting with this psychedelic. One study showed its benefits for cancer patients, another for mood disorders. Other research focused on nicotine addiction, and anxiety.
Future research is coming, but current one is already very promising, and many hope that it will shed light on the medicinal potential for magic mushrooms and the need for them to be legal and accessible to those who need it or choose it for their healing.