September 30, 2022

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From Massachusetts to California, advocates are actively taking new steps to reform local laws governing psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca, building on a national movement that has already resulted in many cities decriminalizing entheogens.

The dynamism of the decriminalization movement for psychedelics becomes clear when one considers the geopolitical landscape that has recently been targeted by activists related to Decriminalize Nature. The last towns where the reform movement is generating steam are Easthampton, Massachusetts; Grand Rapids, Michigan and Arcata, California.

Here’s a breakdown of where the effort stands in each city:

Easthampton

Easthampton City Council is considering a resolution to decriminalize a wide range of entheogenic substances. Passing the measure would mean Easthampton would be the fourth Massachusetts city to implement the reform.

Councilors Owen Zaret, Thomas Peake and Salem Derby support the resolution, which aims to make enforcement of laws against certain psychedelics one of the city’s lowest priorities. Bay Staters for Natural Medicine attorneys helped fuel the effort.

“This is an opportunity to think ahead and make a statement to undo the historical damage caused by the criminalization of plants with clear therapeutic properties,” Zaret said in a press release. “People shouldn’t be arrested or imprisoned for essentially using medication. This paves the way for legislation that will allow these investments to be postponed and provide a reasonable and safe regulatory framework for entheogenic therapy beyond the reach of big pharma. “

The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) is also backing the reform, and proponents have already met with local police officers to discuss the issue.

“Many officials know that arrests can make people with addictions worse,” said James Davis, a Bay Staters for Natural Medicine volunteer. “We are grateful to first responders who have difficult conversations in their own departments about how to treat people with humanity – obsessional arrests lose their jobs, traumatize them, lose access to services, and often facilitate access to fentanyl in prisons and prisons . ”

Other Massachusetts cities that have implemented the policy change include: Northampton, Somerville and Cambridge.

Last week the state legislature also heard testimony about a bill to create a task force to be entrusted with Studying the effects of legalizing psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

big rapids

In Grand Rapids, a local lawmaker advising the municipal chapter of Decriminalize Nature recently said in Grand Rapids that it believes there is enough support to move a resolution to decriminalize psychedelics.

“When it comes to my conversations with my colleagues, they are all very open-minded; They all have a lot of questions, ”City Commissioner Kurt Reppart told MLive. “Some of them have expressed their express support. I think we have enough support to pass a resolution. “

He said the measure could go to the vote by the end of the year, although no measures are currently planned. The city’s lawyers are currently reviewing the proposed language. It is then forwarded to the City Commission’s Legislative Committee for advice on whether the agency should approve or reject it.

“The best scenario for me is that it comes up in the fall and is adopted with an overwhelming vote,” he said said. “I don’t know if it would be unanimous, but it would be a strong vote.”

As with most proposals to decriminalize nature, the proposed proposal would not legalize psychedelics.

If approved, this would be the second Michigan city to pass decriminalizing psychedelics, following the unanimous unanimous vote of the Ann Arbor City Council Vote on a similar resolution last year.

“Decriminalizing things that don’t harm anyone should be the first thing we take away from law enforcement and say, ‘You know what, we asked you to. You no longer have to go to places where you don’t have the education, the know-how and it’s always inconvenient, ‘”Reppart.

Arcata

In Arcata, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee recently tabled a resolution on the reform of psychedelics under the leadership of Decriminalize Nature Humboldt. The panel revised it to restrict the lower-priority policy to use and possession in private spaces, and members also called for an awareness-raising campaign to be launched on the matter.

This action came after the entire panel split over the proposal during the previous examination. But the committee’s approval of the measure means that it will be returned to the full council.

“The city has the power to prioritize where law enforcement goes and where the resources are allocated,” Larry Norris, co-founder of Decriminalize Nature, said as a testimony according to The Times standard. “That doesn’t change anything about the law. There are no changes to the community code, however [decriminalization] allows the city to really say, ‘Hey, plants and mushrooms are not a huge priority for us, we have other things going on.’ ”

Councilor Sarah Schaefer agreed to chair the resolution that would make enforcement of laws against entheogenic substances like psilocybin and ibogaine one of the lowest law enforcement priorities in the city.

Danielle Daniel, principal organizer of Decriminalize Nature Humboldt, told Marijuana Moment that she is “very grateful for the Arcata Public Safety Committee’s openness to understanding the healing potential of entheogenic plants and fungi and the importance of decriminalization to our community.”

“With Decriminalize Nature Humboldt’s commitment to educating our community about entheogens and their therapeutic treatment, we hope to dispel any confusion or fear of decriminalization in Arcata,” she said.

In California, Oakland and Santa Cruz have already enacted the decriminalization of psychedelics.


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Here is more context to the psychedelics reform movement:

For the most part, the burgeoning psychedelics movement was limited to decriminalization, with the exception of Oregon, where voters were elected Legalization of psilocybin for therapeutic use in last year’s election. Californian activists are also pushing into place Psilocybin legalization on the state’s 2022 ballot working as a legislator to pass a separate bill legalize possession of a wide range of psychedelics this has already been passed by the regional senate and two assembly committees.

The latest developments in Easthampton, Grand Rapids, and Arcata are some of the latest iterations of a national psychedelics reform movement that has spread since then Denver was the first city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in 2019.

The Connecticut governor recently signed law containing a language that the state must comply with a study on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

Texas also recently passed a bill to challenge the state Investigate the medical benefits of psychedelics for military veterans.

A New York legislature tabled a bill in June that would oblige the state to set up a similar institute explore the medicinal value of psychedelics.

In Oakland, the first city where a city council voted to make the criminalization of entheogenic substances largely a priority, lawmakers have agreed to a follow-up resolution in December, which requires policy change to be adopted nationwide and local jurisdictions to allow healing ceremonies where people can use psychedelics.

After Ann Arbor legislators passed a decriminalization resolution last year, a district attorney recently announced that his office will not bring charges about the possession of entheogenic plants and mushrooms – “regardless of the disputed amount”.

Aspen, Colorado City Council discussed the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin and proposals to decriminalize such substances at a meeting in May. However, members said that passing a reform would be better handled at the federal level, while entheogens would be tightly controlled by the federal government.

Seattle lawmakers also recently sent a letter to members of a local task force focused on the opioid overdose epidemic, urging the group to investigate the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like ayahuasca and ibogaine in curbing addiction.

The psychedelics discussion is also finding favor at the federal level.

But as a setback to proponents, the US House of Representatives voted against a proposal by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) last week would have removed an expense accounting tab Proponents say federal funding for research into List I drugs, including psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA, and ibogaine, is limited. However, in this round it has garnered significantly more votes than when the Congresswoman first introduced it in 2019.

The reporting provisions of the separate expenditure legislation passed by Parliament also affect the need to Expansion of cannabis and psychedelics research. For example, the panel asked the National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support expanded marijuana studies

It also says that federal health authorities explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for military veterans suffering from a variety of mental illnesses.

With a view to broader drug policy reform, Oregon voters also approved an initiative in November to decriminalize possession of all drugs. This year the Maine House of Representatives A law decriminalizing drugs passed, but later died in the Senate.

In May, the legislature passed the Congress in Congress First ever federal decriminalization of property legislation of illegal substances.

Wyoming marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis initiatives clear first electoral hurdle for 2022

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia / Workman.

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