Oakland PD raided Zide Door, described as "Oakland's church of entheogenic plants," on August 20. They confiscated nearly $200,000 worth of merchandise and $5,000 in cash. No arrests were made.
In 2019, Oakland decriminalized the use of entheogenic plants, which includes psilocybin mushrooms. The church offers mushroom and cannabis products in different forms.
Zide Door founder Dave Hodges tells CelebStoner:
We started as a cannabis church and then when Oakland passed the measure that set all entheogenic plants to the lowest priority status it was a sign that we needed to start providing access. We support all entheogenic plants. Out of the ones named in Oakland law the only one that's safe to provide without a shaman to guide you is the mushrooms. In a religious context they're the first humans would have ever come across. Our church follows the 'Food of the Gods' as a Bible and personally I do high-dose mushrooms to understand the stoned ape theory and where religion itself came from."
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna was publisher in 1993.
Hodges says he consumes 15-30 grams of mushrooms at a time, as seen in the Instagram photo below.
Hodges documented the raid at Instagram with comments like this one:
"We are a peaceful Church, they could have come in with no weapons and accomplished the exact same thing. We are not a cartel and neither cannabis or mushrooms make people violent. Is this really the best use of resources when we are in the middle of a crime wave in Oakland? How many assaults, carjackings, and murders happened while the police were wasting their time..."
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Video from the start of the Raid. We are a peaceful Church, they could have come in with no weapons and accomplished the exact same thing. We are not a cartel and neither cannabis or mushrooms make people violent. Is this really the best use of resources when we are in the middle of a crime wave in Oakland? How many assaults, carjackings, and murders happened while the police were wasting their time...
Hodges is a longtime player in the Bay Area cannabis community. He owned the All American Cannabis Club in San Jose until the dispensary was "shut down" in 2015. Hodges explains:
"I converted to pushing a legalization initiative that would have allowed the existing market to transition into something beautiful. Unfortunately, the people behind Prop 64 lied to everybody and told them that 64 would do that and that then one I was working on would not. After Prop 64, I was a little lost with my life. 64 destroyed the cannabis industry in California and I was stuck trying to figure out what to do with my life. I did consulting for a few years and then an opportunity presented itself to start a church. I actually started my religious use of cannabis in 2010, but it was always something personal that I only spoke up at burning Man. My playa name is 'The Preacher.'"
Known as the "minister" of Zide Door, Hodges opened the store on January 20, 2019, six months before Oakland's City Council ruled in favor of mushrooms. "We provide cannabis and mushrooms for religious purposes," he explains. But sales are not legal under the new law, hence the raid.
A number of Oakland cannabis dispensaries were robbed in May and June after George Floyd's death and the wave of protests and unrest that folllowed and continues.
In another Instagram post, Hodges directed his anger at Oakland PD officer John Romero and the Oakland PD in general:
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OPD Officer John Romero, he joined our church, acknowledge that plants were part of his religion, and then lied to a judge saying that we were not a church. This one man wasted the time of everyone involved. His job is to deal with crimes related to legal dispensaries in the city of Oakland. He should have been using his time to track down the people who robbed every cannabis club in Oakland a few months ago. Legal marijuana dispensaries in Oakland lost millions of dollars because the police weren't there to protect them, now instead of tracking those people down he decides to waste everybody's time and rob our church. This was the definition of a "smash-and-grab" by the OPD.
"We plan to sue the OPD, but we're waiting to see what if anything they will charge us with. Generally it takes two weeks before they charge you with something after a raid like this. So in theory we should know sometime this week."
Oakland was the second city to deciminalize plant-based hallucinogens after Denver, also in 2019. Santa Cruz, CA became the third in February.