Detroit has joined a growing number of cities and states decriminalizing entheogenic plants and fungi, better known as magic mushrooms and psychedelics.
Voters, including the city’s current re-election mayor, accepted Proposition E on Tuesday night to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi. In Detroit’s unofficial election results on Wednesday, just over 61 percent of voters supported the measure, and nearly 39 percent of voters opposed it.
“Detroiters voted loudly to further decriminalize,” Michigan Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit told PBS NewsHour after the election. “The war on drugs was a war against black and brown communities, and it’s nice to see black communities resist.”
What does the new Detroit criterion for mushrooms and psychedelics do?
Voters in a black-majority city were asked whether to amend the city code to “decriminalize, to the maximum extent permitted by Michigan law, the personal ownership and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants by adults, and to allow the personal ownership and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants by adults. the lowest priority of the city law enforcement bodies. “
READ MORE: Why there is a growing push to decriminalize psychedelics in Michigan
State and federal laws continue to prohibit personal possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants and fungi. But the decriminalization of use and storage within the city means that the local police department does not prioritize arrests for these crimes unless they are related to another crime. This measure did not permit the commercialization of plants and fungi.
Entheogenic plants include psilocybin mushrooms, ibogaine from Africa, ayahuasca from South America, and peyote and mescaline from some cacti.
The pros and cons of psychedelics
While trying to decriminalize both marijuana and psychedelics, critics share concerns about fewer punishments, which will lead to increased drug use and possibly more crime.
A growing body of research shows that these substances can help relieve PTSD, addiction and withdrawal symptoms, major depression and anxiety, among other conditions.
Along with pointing to research into the medicinal properties of these substances – which 35 percent of voters support in a June Hill Harris-X poll – supporters say decriminalizing them could also help curb some of the racial differences that have emerged in law enforcement. as a result of the so-called “war on drugs” by Richard Nixon.
“We put people in jail and arrest people for various actions that do not harm other people,” Hollier told NewsHour ahead of the election. “They are illegal because someone thought they should have been illegal at some point in the past, not because today they are causing people this obvious and obvious harm or something similar.”
Where else did these proposals take place?
Detroit’s proposal came when many states and cities decriminalized or legalized the use of marijuana or cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, and are now beginning to do the same with entheogenic plants or mushrooms. Denver was the first city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in 2019. Since then, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, DC, and eight other US cities have decriminalized entheogenic plants and fungi to some extent.
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In September 2020, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously passed legislation to decriminalize the ownership, non-commercial use and cultivation of entheogenic plants and mushrooms. Shortly thereafter, the Washteno County Attorney’s Office issued a directive making prosecuting people for crimes involving entheogenic plants and fungi “the lowest priority.”
Another resolution in Grand Rapids, Michigan authorized additional research on entheogenic plants and fungi as a potential step towards decriminalizing them.
Other Michigan cities that are beginning to organize around this problem include the Detroit suburbs Hazel Park and Madison Heights; the state capital, Lansing, and the neighboring student town of East Lansing; a tourist destination for upstate Traverse City; Ypsilanti, which is adjacent to Ann Arbor; and Flint.
In September 2021, Hollier and his colleague Senator Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor introduced legislation to decriminalize the production, storage, delivery, and use of entheogenic plants and mushrooms across the state. It also allows entheogenic plants and fungi to be used for research. Commercial production and sale will continue to be prohibited. The bill is currently pending before the Judicial and Public Safety Committee.
Now that Detroit has joined the list of cities that have taken action on entheogenic plants and fungi, I hope the state legislature will quickly pass legislation that we need to decriminalize these natural psychedelics, ”Hollier said.
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