Ann Arbor mushrooms

Thanks to Mlive for this:

ANN ARBOR, MI — Magic mushrooms and other psychedelic plants and fungi are now effectively decriminalized in Ann Arbor, Michigan at least in terms of city police enforcement priority.

City Council voted unanimously Monday night, Sept. 21, 2020 in favor of a resolution declaring it’s the city’s lowest law enforcement priority to investigate and arrest anyone for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.

That includes ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.

Council also called upon the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to cease prosecution of people involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.

Ann Arbor mushrooms

A grassroots group called Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2, has been lobbying city officials to take up the issue.

Earlier this year, council members weren’t eager to sponsor the group’s proposal, but some said they’ve been swayed by arguments about medical and spiritual benefits of using psychedelics, including for mental health treatment.

Council Member Zachary Ackerman, D-3rd Ward, noted Johns Hopkins Medicine has launched a $17 million center dedicated to psychedelic and consciousness research, seeing what he called “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.”

Council Member Jack Eaton, D-4th Ward, compared the council’s move Monday night to the city’s efforts in the 1970s to decriminalize marijuana at the local level when it was still illegal under state and federal law.

The resolution does not authorize or enable the commission of any crimes, council members said, and any significant violation of state or federal law or any use of entheogenic plants that poses a threat to public health, safety and welfare still could result in city law enforcement involvement.

Council Member Anne Bannister, D-1st Ward, was credited by colleagues for bringing forward the proposal, with co-sponsorship by Jeff Hayner, D-1st Ward.

Council Members Kathy Griswold, D-2nd Ward, and Ali Ramlawi, D-5th Ward, joined as co-sponsors Monday night, followed by council’s 11-0 vote in favor.

The resolution defines “entheogenic plants” as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”

Psychedelic substances can be used to help address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions, the resolution states.

“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.

Practices with entheogenic plants have been sacred to human cultures for thousands of years, yet those seeking them today to improve their health and wellbeing have feared arrest and prosecution, the resolution states.

In 2019, Denver became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, followed by Oakland and Santa Cruz in California, which decriminalized all entheogenic plants.

Advocates argue non-addictive psychedelics can, for example, provide a pathway out of opioid addiction.

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