Oakland is set to possibly decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms; becoming the 2nd US city, after Denver, to do so. A resolution, introduced by Councilman Noel Gallo, would instruct law enforcement to stop enforcement of psychedelics that come from plants or fungi. Synthetic drugs like LSD or MDMA (ecstasy) are not included in this resolution.

Update: With the Oakland City Council’s vote on June 5th, Oakland passed a resolution to decriminalize a range of natural psychedelics like magic mushrooms, peyote and ayahuasca.

For Councilman Gallo, the relief people with mental health issues could gain from the use of natural psychedelics is paramount. “We need all the help we can get to deal with the mental health issues that we have,” Gallo said. “If I can bring it publicly and talk about the benefit and talk about (how it can) deal with the mental illnesses that we have in the city, why not?”

“The data are really impressive. We should be cautiously but enthusiastically pursuing these threads,” said Matthew Johnson, an associate professor in psychiatry and behavior sciences at Johns Hopkins who worked on the smoking cessation research. “We want to be aware of overexuberance, but at the same time, we have to avoid falling into a kind of dogmatic skepticism.”

Image credit: A collage of images by Tim Riesner and JR Korpa on Unsplash