Santa Cruz recently became the third city in the United States to decriminalize natural psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, ayahuasca and peyote. LSD and MDMA are off limits.
The resolution makes investigating and arresting people 21 and older for using, possessing or cultivating among the lowest priority for law enforcement. But on the federal level, hallucinogens are still Schedule 1 drugs. Using them could land you with a felony and a fine of up to $100,000 or more.
Madison Margolin is the co-founder and editor of Double Blind magazine, which is dedicated completely to psychedelics. She says that the normalization of hallucinatory substances is due to mainstream media publishing more stories about their use, and a push from the medical community.
“We are seeing psilocybin being used for anxiety, PTSD, depression, addiction. And the rest of them — LSD, ayahuasca — all have applications within that realm,” she says. “In the clinical trials that are happening right now through places like Johns Hopkins or the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies … people are seeing a lot of positive results. You also have people who are using them rogue or who aren't necessarily enrolled in these clinical trials, who are reporting help with migraines or just kind of daily wellness.”
When it comes to getting psychedelics, she says that it’s important to turn to someone you know and trust, or dealers who can be vouched for.
Margolin says that advocates believe that selling mushrooms like any other crop will help prevent hiccups that have occurred in the recreational marijuana industry.
“Activists so far prefer that the mushroom industry be ‘abrogated into already existing industries’ … so as to avoid some of the pitfalls that we've experienced already with cannabis legalization, where they're treating cannabis like a whole other crop,” she says. “Now we have overregulation and people getting pushed out of the industry, and it's a bigger mess than if they had just treated cannabis like tomatoes.”