Oakland City Council Makes Psychedelic Plants and Mushrooms Lowest Priority for Law Enforcement

MAPS Releases Statement on the Regulation and Decriminalization of Psychedelic Substances

OAKLAND, CALIF. — Yesterday, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to stop city funds from being used to enforce laws criminalizing people for the use or possession of ayahuasca, iboga, and other psychedelic mushrooms and cacti. These plants and fungi have a long history of ceremonial use in indigenous traditions around the globe, though the active psychedelic compounds in them—including psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline—are still federally scheduled substances and illegal under federal law. Oakland is the first U.S. city to pass a resolution effectively decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi, following Denver’s vote last month to make psilocybin mushrooms the lowest law enforcement priority.

Statement: Considerations for the Regulation and Decriminalization of Psychedelic Substances

Summary

Since its 1986 inception, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’ (MAPS’) stated mission has been the development of medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful use of psychedelics, including cannabis. The ongoing criminalization of drugs and people who use them has long increased the dangers of using psychedelic substances, so MAPS believes that no one should be criminalized for the possession, use, or sale of psychedelic substances – or any other drugs. Therefore, we support efforts to decriminalize all drugs and to create safe, regulated access to currently scheduled substances.

Marginalized communities experience the highest rates of trauma, as well as high rates of criminalization, further limiting their access to psychedelic medicines as a therapeutic tool. In light of this reality, MAPS encourages movements working to reform laws regarding individual substances to collaborate with broader movements for drug policy, health access, and criminal law reform.