Another city has joined the movement to decriminalize psychedelics, with lawmakers in Port Townsend, Wash., Unanimously approving a reform resolution on Monday.
The proposal, which was developed with input from a coalition of psychedelic activists, makes law enforcement against entheogenic substances like psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine one of the lowest priorities of the city.
It also expresses city council support for broader decriminalization in Washington state and at the federal level.
Port Townsend “maintains that the abuse of controlled substances should be understood primarily as a public health problem,” reads the text of the resolution.
Before monday vote, activists from the Port Townsend Psychedelic Society (PTPS) expressed worry on certain terms in an initial draft resolution and said they would support the possible tabling of legislation if their proposed amendments were not adopted.
This included amending the text to say that enforcing laws against psychedelic activities for adults is “on the lowest” priority, rather than just a “low” priority. The revision was adopted by the body.
Language was also added stating that the city, to the best of its ability, will not direct funding to the police specifically for entheogen-related law enforcement activities.
“After two and a half years of working on this issue, we are extremely pleased that the City of Port Townsend has passed a resolution supporting the decriminalization of entheogens,” PTPS’s Erin Reading told Marijuana Moment after the vote. “We received only support in passing this resolution and are grateful to the vibrant community that has solidified around this work.”
“Now we can focus our energy more on other facets of the PT Psychedelic Society, including increasing accessibility to these drugs, organizing workshops and educational trainings, developing support structures (such as than our monthly integration groups) and community bonding, ”she wrote in an email.
The recital section of the newly adopted measure deals with the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics, ongoing clinical trials to study their medical value and reforms that have been adopted in cities across the country.
This includes neighboring Seattle, where city council passed a resolution in October to decriminalize a variety of entheogenic plants and fungi.
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But the psychedelic reform movement is by no means confined to Washington’s borders. Activists have successfully embraced policy changes – and continue to mount new campaigns – in the United States
For example, a national advocacy group recently tabled two separate psychedelic reform initiatives for the 2022 Colorado poll. Voters in the state may have an opportunity to influence the legalization of the possession and personal cultivation of psychedelics, and the creation of a system of companies licensed to produce psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for supervised use in “healing centers”.
The filing comes more than two years after Denver became the first city in the United States to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Various activists, including those involved in the 2019 campaign, have shown interest in leveraging the reform.
Colorado’s initiatives seek to accomplish something similar to what California activists are actively pursuing. California advocates are collecting signatures for a voting initiative to legalize psilocybin mushrooms in the state.
Activists in Virginia have also launched a campaign to decriminalize a wide range of psychedelics in the Commonwealth, and two state lawmakers recently touted the therapeutic potential of entheogenic substances like psilocybin mushrooms.
Last month, voters in Detroit approved a voting initiative to broadly decriminalize psychedelics, making it the latest in a growing number of jurisdictions to pass the reform.
In October, lawmakers in Massachusetts’ fourth city, Easthampton, voted in favor of a resolution calling for the decriminalization of certain entheogens and other drugs.
The action comes months after neighboring Northampton City Council passed a resolution saying that no government or police funds should be used to enforce laws criminalizing people who use or possess plants and fungi entheogens. Elsewhere in Massachusetts, Somerville and Cambridge have also moved to effectively decriminalize psychedelics.
Local Measures also express support for two bills introduced this year to the Massachusetts state legislature. One would remove criminal penalties for possession of all currently illicit drugs and the other would establish a working group to study entheogenic substances with the possible goal of legalizing and regulating them.
A bill to legalize psychedelics in California went through the Senate and two Assembly committees this year before being withdrawn by the sponsor to gain more time to generate support from lawmakers. The plan is to resume reform in the second half of next year’s legislative session, and the senator behind the measure is confident it will pass.
In Oakland, the first city where a city council voted to largely remove the priority of criminalizing entheogenic substances, lawmakers approved a follow-up resolution in December that calls for passage of the nationwide policy change. ‘State and local jurisdiction authorization to allow healing ceremonies where people could use psychedelics. City activists also hope to expand the local decriminalization ordinance by creating a community model through which people could legally purchase entheogenic substances from local producers.
Earlier this year, Texas passed a law directing state officials to study the medical value of psychedelics.
The Connecticut governor signed a bill in June that includes language requiring the state to conduct a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.
Voters in Oregon passed a pair of initiatives last November to legalize psilocybin therapy and decriminalize possession of all drugs. At the local level, activists in Portland are pushing for local lawmakers to pass a resolution decriminalizing the cultivation, donation and ceremonial use of a wide range of psychedelics.
Florida’s top Senate Democrat introduced a bill in September that would require the state to research the medical benefits of psychedelics such as psilocybin and MDMA.
A New York lawmaker introduced a bill in June that would require the state to establish an institute to similarly research the medical value of psychedelics.
The Maine House of Representatives passed a drug decriminalization bill this year, but he later died in the Senate.
In a setback for defenders, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted against a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that would have removed an addendum from the spending bill that advocates say restricted federal funds for research on Schedule I drugs, including psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine. However, it garnered considerably more votes this round than when the MP first introduced it in 2019.
The report’s provisions of separate spending legislation passed by the House also touch on the need to expand research into cannabis and psychedelics. The panel urged the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support expanded studies on marijuana, for example. He further states that federal health agencies should continue their research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for military veterans suffering from a host of mental health issues.
A Republican congressman tried to add wording to a defense bill that would encourage research into psychedelic therapy for active duty military personnel, but this was not brought into compliance by the rules committee. the House in September.
NIDA also recently announced that it is funding a study to find out whether psilocybin can help people quit smoking.
A US Department of Veterans Affairs official also told a recent congressional hearing that the agency was “very closely” following research into the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics like MDMA for military veterans.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a longtime champion of marijuana reform in Congress, said in October that he intends to help bring the psychedelics reform movement to Capitol Hill, and he reiterated that point in response to a question from Marijuana Moment on Thursday. The congressman is also circulating a letter to get his colleagues to demand that the Drug Enforcement Administration stop barring terminally ill patients from accessing psilocybin as an investigational drug with the right to try.
In May, congressional lawmakers introduced the first-ever law to decriminalize possession of illicit substances at the federal level.
A St. Louis lawmaker, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that although he had heard colleagues discuss the possibility of pushing for the decriminalization of psychedelics, he feared passage of the reform would prompt intervention. federal.
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