San Francisco decriminalizes herbal psychedelics

San Francisco has joined a small but growing list of cities and states that have decriminalized the possession and even distribution of certain psychedelic drugs.

In September 2022, the city’s legislative body, called the Board of Overseers, voted unanimously to decriminalize herbal psychedelics, such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca and mescaline cacti, VICE reported. . (Synthetic drugs like LSD and MDMA are not covered by the resolution.)

The cultivation, distribution, and use of these federally banned psychedelics “shall be among the lowest law enforcement priorities for the city,” the resolution states, and urges that “resources of the city not be used for any investigation, detention, arrest or prosecution” of violating state and federal drug laws surrounding the compounds.

“San Francisco joins a growing list of cities and countries that are taking a fresh look at these herbal medicines, following the science and data, and destigmatizing their use and culture,” Supervisor Dean Preston said in a statement. Preston presented the resolution to Council.

San Francisco decriminalized herbal psychedelics like psilocybin, ayahuasca, and mescaline.

The resolution sets out several reasons behind the decision.

The resolution cites the clinical effectiveness of psychedelics in the treatment of major depression, PTSD and other conditions “afflicting our community”, as well as their well-established cultural use for thousands of years and the exceptions already granted for specific religious reasons.

There is also a state Senate bill, Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 519, bolstering the supervisor’s case. SB 519 has currently been reduced to a study to be conducted, CBS Bay Area reported, although Wiener plans to bring it back in 2023.

The resolution technically decriminalizes “plant entheogens,” which it defines as “the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials that can inspire personal and spiritual well-being, can benefit psychological and physical well-being.” , but it is. not legalize them, since that is state law. As SFist points out, this can only discourage local law enforcement from penalizing them.

The San Francisco resolution joins other past metropolitan psychedelic shifts across the bay in Oakland, as well as Santa Cruz, Washington, DC, and Denver.

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