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Detroit Votes to Decriminalize Psilocybin and Other Psychedelics

Published: Nov 09, 2021   

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Detroit Votes to Decriminalize Psilocybin and Other Psychedelics

Leo Bear-McGuinness
Science Writer & Editor

Voters in the Michigan city of Detroit have approved a ballot measure to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics.

Under the new measure, “the personal possession and therapeutic use of Entheogenic Plants by adults” with become “the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority.”

Entheogens is a term to describe plant or fungal material used in religious or spiritual events, and can encompass psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, and mescaline, but not processed drugs like MDMA.

Voters approved the ballot by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent on November 2.

Speaking to PBS NewsHour after the vote, Michigan State Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit explained that “the war on drugs was a war on Black and brown communities and it’s good to see Black communities pushing back.”

The Detroit vote follows a similar measure in Seattle; the west-coast city’s council decriminalized entheogens on October 4.

Ann Arbor, another Michigan city, decriminalized entheogens on September 21, 2020, following a unanimous vote from the city’s council.

Last November, Oregon became the first state in the country to decriminalize the possession of psychedelics through a new measure decriminalizing the possession of minor amounts of all currently illegal drugs. At the same time, the state also specifically legalized the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.

In the same month, voters in Washington DC approved an initiative that effectively decriminalized the possession of all entheogenic plants and fungi.

In California, the cities of Oakland and Santa Cruz have already enacted psychedelics decriminalization, and a bill to decriminalize psychoactive substances across the state has made significant progress in the state’s legislature.


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