On Tuesday 4th of June, the Oakland City Council voted on decriminalizing natural hallucinogens – by June 5th it was clear; police will no longer enforce laws on things like psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote and iboga.
This is a huge step forward, actually the second this year, since in late May, Denver had its vote on decriminalizing just mushrooms – successfully!
The development of more reasonable natural psychedelic drug policies has picked up speed so suddenly and forcefully, that Michael Pollan wrote an op-ed asking for more caution with the legal status of mushrooms.
Pollan is the author of “How to Change your Mind” – What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence and so far, it looked like he was very much in support of removing the stigma from natural psychedelics. Yet, he advises “Not so Fast on Psychedelic Mushrooms” – how come?
In his open letter, Pollan argues that we don’t yet know enough about psychedelics to open them up to just anyone, and expresses his concern that such a rapid development might backfire as badly as it did in the 70ies.
Is the situation that similar to what we had 50 years ago, though? What’s changed since then?
Well, apart from now having the World Wide Web at our disposal to spread information within seconds (yeah, it’s surprisingly easy to forget that’s not always been around), science has evolved. Secretly administering drugs to university students and military personnel is no longer acceptable, studies have become much more rigorous and in turn, results more reliable.
The world isn’t the same now as it was then and keeping adult people away from natural medicines that might alleviate their suffering by threatening them with disenfranchisement and prison, is a dying art.
Yes, we still have a lot to learn.
But if we’re not allowed to, it’s much more likely we’ll die ignorant. Oakland has decided against this and TNMS is celebrating with them!