Oakland, California becomes only the second US city to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics. The decision came about after the City Council unanimously passed a resolution in favour of the proposition. Previously, Delaware state capital Denver had voted on a similar resolution that made magic mushrooms no more illegal in the state.
This is a momentous step perhaps instigated by the wide legalization of cannabis in the country. Currently, 11 US states including federal capital Washington DC have made recreational use of marijuana legal for the public. On the other hand, more than 30 states have legalized medical usage of cannabis after health benefits were realized
After the decriminalization of magic mushrooms, proponents believe that it won’t be long before other cities will follow suit. More importantly, it is reasonable to predict that in the near future, city legislators will proceed with the recreational sale.
Magic Mushroom Decriminalized
The vote to decriminalize magic mushroom in Oakland is possibly a broader resolution than the one passed in Denver. A look at the practicalities of the legislation will show that the initiative aims at decriminalizing entheogenic plants around the city. Accordingly, the use, as well as possession of magic mushrooms and other plants containing the compound psilocybin, will be no more illegal.
However, what is important to note is that the bill will not allow any type of commercial sale. The legislation saw a divide between the groups proposing and opposing the legislation. According to the former group, magic mushrooms are a healing tool, used for centuries to treat chronic pain. It is a way to heal ourselves through the very use of nature.
The therapeutic effects have largely been validated by medical research studies. One such study was conducted by researchers from John Hopkins University and NYU. The findings showed that there is strong evidence to suggest that there are positive health advantages associated with entheogenic plants. Various other studies are ongoing and they more or less point towards the same claim.
The Side Effects
On the contrary, the bill was not free from a strong opposition. The opponents argued that the legislation will have a negative impact on the users. They believe that substances containing psilocybin such as magic mushrooms are potentially harmful drugs. While there may be evidence to suggest the medical benefits, the consequences are all the more important to consider. First and foremost, they lead to strong impairment of cognitive abilities. A user under the influence is unable to make an informed rational decision for a considerable long time.
The chances of having a “bad mushroom trip” is also a probability and there have been instances of self- injury. The long term side effects include loss of memory, frequent panic attacks and anxiety. Above all, the magic mushrooms that might be available may not be free from poisonous content. It is all the more possible to harm yourself by consuming the wrong type of mushroom.
All of that being said, there is no denying that the legislation towards decriminalization of natural psilocybin is a big step. How the city council will balance the benefits against the consequences, however, remains yet to be seen.