Oakland Becomes Second U.S. City to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms

The Oakland City Council passed a resolution Tuesday effectively legalizing psychedelic mushrooms and other "entheogenic plants" like ayahuasca and peyote. The resolution states that no local dollars shall be used to enforce criminal laws against adult use and possession. These should be the “lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Oakland,” it states.

The move comes one month after the City of Denver, Colorado decriminalized mushrooms. Unlike Oakland’s, Denver’s statute does not include any other drugs or plants.

Tuesday’s vote was celebrated by legalization advocates. They claim mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs have healing properties and could even cure some forms of mental illness. Small studies out of Johns Hopkins and New York University have shown some promising results.

But the potential downsides are clear to anyone who’s ever taken a trip down the psychedelic rabbit hole.

“Your judgment is impaired. You could walk out into traffic. You could do something really reckless,” journalist and author Michael Pollan told NPR. He has written a best-selling book about the research on psychedelics’ purported mental health benefits.

While officials recommend careful use and expert guidance, there is no mechanism in place to ensure that advice is followed.

Tuesday’s resolution was introduced by Noel Gallo and approved by a unanimous vote.