The Santa Cruz City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize all entheogenic psychoactive plants and fungi. This includes ayahuasca (and other DMT containing plants), peyote, San Pedro (huachuma), ibogaine/iboga and psilocybin mushrooms.
The resolution declares that “the investigation and arrest of individuals involved with the adult possession, use, or cultivation of psychoactive plants and fungi listed on the Federal Schedule 1 list for personal adult use and clinical research be among the lowest priorities for the city of Santa Cruz”.
Santa Cruz is the third city in the U.S. to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi. A ballot measure in Denver to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms was approved in May last year. Oakland followed shortly after decriminalizing all psychoactive entheogenic plants.
Santa Cruz, however, is the first city to add “cultivation” to their measure. Doing so allows people to avoid a privatized medical system that patents natural products and sells them for excessive profit. It also promotes avoidance of the black market and consumption of unsafe substances.
Mayor Justin Cummings affirmed, “with possession and use being inserted without cultivation, that actually encourages the black market because there’s nowhere else to get it except from the black market…People know exactly what they’re taking and so they don’t have to worry about anything potentially being laced. If people are cultivating it themselves, they know exactly what they’re producing, exactly what they’re taking.”
Other speakers at the meeting such as Dr. Allison Feduccia from MAPS advocated the efficacy and safety of the psychoactive entheogenic plants. “They’re not addictive, we have a lot of research, not only from the current clinical trials, but also from historical use. Indigenous people have been using psychoactive plants and fungi for thousands of years… We have an opportunity here in the community for people to be seeking out these experiences and using them to help promote their own health and wellbeing.”