The Arcata City Council unanimously passed a resolution this week that decriminalizes the use of psychedelic plants and fungi in the city. It becomes the third city in California to pass such a resolution following Oakland’s vote to decriminalize in 2019 and Santa Cruz in 2020.
Now, Arcata residents 21 and older can consume magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, mescaline and other psychedelic plants or mushrooms without fear of legal backlash. The resolution was written by city council with the help of Decriminalize Nature Humboldt. Here is the written resolution:
The City Council of the City of Arcata hereby declares that the investigation and arrest of persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing Entheogenic Plants and Fungi or plant compounds which are on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall not be a public safety priority for the City of Arcata; and that only limited City funds and resources be used to investigate, detain, arrest or pursue prosecution for an alleged violation of State and federal law regarding the use of Entheogenic plants by a person twenty-one (21) years of age and older when other code violations are present such as a public disturbance, driving while under the influence, use in the presence of minors, or jeopardizing public safety.
The city council meeting emphasized the the therapeutic impacts of these plants and mushrooms, with recent scientific efforts proving that, under the guidance of trained professionals, these psychedelics can help people with mental health illnesses. The decriminalization of these drugs has occurred throughout the United States, including Washington D.C., Denver, Colorado and the entire state of Oregon.
The Arcata City Council meeting stressed the need to educate the public in the proper use of theses plants and fungi.
“I understand the concerns of people taking too much and maybe getting overwhelmed by the experience of a strong psychedelic,” said Danielle Daniel, lead organizer of Decriminalize Nature Humboldt, to city council. “But what we have been trying to do is teach people how to take these in a good way and in a safe way. And with decriminalization we will have more abilities to teach people how to take these in a good way and provide safe spaces for people to take these in a therapeutic way.”
What do you think of the new Arcata resolution?