The move makes Santa Cruz the third American city to take a softer line with psychedelics.
Santa Cruz, Calif. may be about to get a lot more colourful.
The Santa Cruz City Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution this week that would send psychedelic drugs — such as psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca — to the bottom of local law enforcement’s list of priorities and, effectively, decriminalize the drugs.
The resolution stipulates that the city should not use “resources in the investigation and arrest of persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older solely for the personal use and personal possession of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi.” That would mean “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.”
The decision was not made on a whim, as city council has been listening to testimony regarding psychedelics for months. Input received was reviewed and amended with the Public Safety Committee before the final vote took place.
The resolution has the support of Mayor Justin Cummings, who sponsored the move as vice-mayor and was elected to his current office in November 2018.
The main point of contention in the bill was the removal (and subsequent re-addition) or the world “cultivation.”
“With possession and use being inserted without cultivation, that actually encourages the black market because there’s nowhere else to go,” Mayor Cummings stated. “If people are cultivating [psychedelics] themselves, they know exactly what they’re producing,” he said.
The move makes Santa Cruz the third American city to adopt a resolution to effectively decriminalize psychedelics, which some assert have been effective in treating illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Oakland, Calif. and Denver, Colo. have decriminalized adult possession and consumption of the drugs.
Written by Emma Spears