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

Photo: Peter Dejong (Associated Press)

For people who have not been following the fight to legalize psilocybin, it may seem like the movement to decriminalize magic mushrooms sprung up from the earth overnight.

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The Oakland City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other psychoactive fungi and plants, ordering law enforcement to stop the prosecution of possession of natural psychedelics. The decision came less than a month after Denver voters approved decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms, with an initiative that bars the city from using resources to pursue criminal penalties for people over the age of 21 who use or possess psilocybin.

Oakland City Council voted on its natural psilocybin resolution after hearing testimonies from 30 people, many of whom insisted psilocybin had provided relief from depression, anxiety, trauma, and addiction, according to USA Today.


The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Councilperson Noel Gallo introduced the resolution at the behest of the community group Decriminalize Nature Oakland.

“I don’t have words, I could cry,” Nicolle Greenheart, Decriminalize Nature Oakland co-founder, told the Chronicle. “I’m thrilled. I’m glad that our communities will now have access to the healing medicines and we can start working on healing our communities.”


The resolution doesn’t allow for farming or commercial sales of natural psilocybin and clarifies that people who have post-traumatic stress or depression should speak to a doctor before using psilocybin. An amendment also advises that users “don’t go solo” when using psilocybin. The resolution only covers natural psilocybin—not MDMA, LSD, or other synthetic drugs.

As Associated Press points out, psychedelic mushrooms are still illegal under state and federal laws.


Other states could soon see similar psychedelic policy changes. Iowa state Representative Jeff Shipley has been advocating for a psilocybin decriminalization bill in the state’s legislature. And there’s a growing movement in Oregon to put a psilocybin legalization measure on the 2020 ballot.

In the short term, it just got a lot easier for the tech folks in nearby Silicon Valley to microdose psilocybin to their heart’s content.


Former senior reporter at Gizmodo

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