More and more cities are decriminalizing the possession and use of psychedelic substances, including magic mushrooms, DMT and ibogaine. As cannabis legalization continues to sweep the nation, another movement has emerged.
Over the past three years, new laws and city council resolutions have emerged across the country to legalize or decriminalize naturally occurring entheogenic plants and fungi. That list of substances generally includes psychedelic mushrooms, ayahuasca, mescaline, ibogaine and peyote. Cannabis is also considered an entheogen. These decriminalization measures generally do not apply to LSD or MDMA.
Decriminalization of psychedelics as psilocybin
Although Oregon is currently the only US state where psilocybin has become legal for therapeutic use, more than a dozen other cities and counties have effectively decriminalized psilocybin and other entheogens as well. A measure that would legalize psychedelics statewide will be introduced before voters in Colorado in November 2022.
It is important to remember that decriminalization in this context simply means that it deprioritizes the enforcement of a ban as much as possible. Entheogens technically remain illegal in these cities and counties.
In November 2020, Oregon voted to reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of all drugs to a minor offense. Under the new law, you'll pay a $100 fine if you're caught with a small amount of an illegal drug.
The measure also establishes a robust drug addiction treatment and recovery program. Oregon will fund the program with both revenue from cannabis sales and the expected savings from removing the current costs of imposing criminal drug possession penalties.
In the same election, Oregon passed Measure 109. That measure legalizes, regulates and taxes the production, sale and administration of psilocybin for mental health purposes. Measure 109 permits the consumption and sale of psilocybin only at an authorized 'psilocybin service center', and only under the supervision of a licensed physician. Where else are psychedelics allowed?
Ann Arbor/Washtenaw County, Michigan
In September 2020, the Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize the use, possession and personal cultivation of naturally occurring entheogenic plants and fungi. Washtenaw County, where Ann Arbor is located, then expanded the measure to apply nationwide. However, county law enforcement will still charge anyone who drives under the influence of an entheogen.
In October 2021, Arcata's city council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi for all adults.
In February 2021, Cambridge became the second Massachusetts city to effectively decriminalize entheogens. The vote was passed in the city council with an 8 to 1 vote. The policy also prevents the city from allocating funds for the arrest of individuals for entheogens, and asks the County District Attorney to stop prosecuting people for using, possessing or cultivating psychedelics without intent to distribute them.
In May 2019, voters in Denver narrowly approved a ballot measure to effectively decriminalize the use and possession of psilocybin. A few weeks later, Governor Jared Polis (D) House signed Bill 19-1263, making possession of small amounts of Schedule I or Schedule II substances a petty crime rather than a misdemeanor. That law came into effect in March 2020.
In November, Colorado will vote on the Natural Medicine Health Act. The measure would legalize the use, possession and cultivation of most entheogens and open the door to regulated therapeutic treatments in accredited 'healing centers'. It does not include any holding limits. Nor does it legalize the recreational sale of entheogenic plants and fungi.
In November 2021, Detroit passed a measure to effectively decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi within city limits.
In October 2021, Easthampton City Council voted to effectively decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi within the city limits.
Hazel Park, Michigan
In March 2022, Hazel Park — immediately north of Detroit — voted to effectively decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi within the city limits.
In March 2021, Northampton City Council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi.
In June 2019, Oakland became the first U.S. city to effectively decriminalize adult entheogenic plants and fungi through a unanimous city council vote.
Port Townsend, Washington
In December 2021, Port Townsend City Council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize adult entheogenic plants and fungi.
San Francisco, California
On September 6, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to decriminalize all entheogens, giving psychedelic drugs the lowest priority for local law enforcement agencies.
Santa Cruz, California
In February 2020, the Santa Cruz City Council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize the possession and personal cultivation of entheogenic plants and fungi.
In October 2021, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi. The law requires that the arrest and prosecution of anyone engaged in entheogen-related activities should be considered the lowest priority for local law enforcement.
In January 2021, Somerville City Council voted unanimously to effectively decriminalize the use and possession of entheogenic plants and fungi.
In November 2020, residents of DC voted 76-24 to effectively decriminalize the use and possession of entheogenic plants and fungi.
Source: Leafly.com (EN)