Santa Cruz City Council voted to decriminalize psilocybin fungi last night. This makes it the second jurisdiction in California to do so and the third in the country to decriminalize mushrooms. While this is great news for the citizens of Santa Cruz, citizens in Tennessee could never do this.
Santa Cruz Context
The Santa Cruz, California City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution on January 28th that would effectively decriminalize a wide range of psychedelics by making them among the city's lowest law enforcement priorities.
The resolutions states that the “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.”
Why Not in Tennessee?
Resolutions of this type are easy victories for municipal governments and advocates. Cities should have the power to choose what is best for its citizens. Psilo tried to develop plans around municipal decriminalization across Tennessee but we were advised not to pursue this path.
Tennessee lawmakers have made it illegal for cities to adopt resolutions that change the way law enforcement agents and prosecutors manage compounds listed as Controlled Substances.
Governor Haslam signed a law that repealed Memphis and Nashville resolutions that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. And the law included a stipulation that cities in Tennessee could never decriminalize compounds on the controlled substance list. Since psilocybin is on the controlled substance list, this means we cannot have a city by city decriminalization effort.