San Francisco police admitted Wednesday that they falsely accused a man of selling meth after he was arrested for allegedly selling magic mushrooms at his business in the Haight.
Kevin Tevis, the owner of a retail store called Bobbi’s on Haight, was arrested Nov. 23 during a police raid. Officers targeted his shop for allegedly selling magic mushrooms, which were effectively decriminalized by city leaders months earlier. When contacted for details about the arrest, police inaccurately told The Standard that Tevis was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.
But it turns out there was no basis for this allegation and San Francisco police have now retracted a previous statement after The Standard published a story about the raid.
“In our initial synopsis of the incident, we mispoke (sic) on the charges placed on Kevin Tevis,” a police statement said. “There were no charges related to methamphetamine placed on Tevis. The charges placed on Tevis were related to psilocybin.”
San Francisco Superior Court’s website still inaccurately noted that Tevis was being charged with selling meth at the time this story was published.
Tevis has been charged with three counts of selling, possessing and using a place of business to sell psilocybin, according to the District Attorney’s Office. His next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 29.
Tevis declined to comment for this story.
Deputy Public Defender Bonnie Chan-Silen, who is representing Tevis, told The Standard on Wednesday that it was "absurd" for police to suggest meth possession had any role in the arrest.
"This seems like a shameful scare tactic from the war-on-drugs playbook which demonizes drug use in all forms," Chan-Silen said. "Mr. Tevis is accused of possessing psilocybin magic mushrooms, which have been largely moving toward decriminalization as the scientific community and policy-makers have begun to recognize their medicinal properties and harmless recreational use."
Tevis entered a plea of not guilty on the charge of possession with intent to sell, according to his attorney.
City leaders effectively decriminalized magic mushrooms—otherwise known as psilocybin—in September, and state Sen. Scott Wiener introduced a bill Tuesday that would legalize magic mushrooms and other psychedelics for personal use in California.
However, the city has yet to create a path forward for businesses to sell the drugs legally.
David Sjostedt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org