Deadline Detroit | Edgy Proposition E border: peyote and other hallucinogens are on Detroit ballots next week


Psychedelics share Detroit’s Nov. 2 ballots with candidates for mayor, council, clerk and police commission.

Illustration from Blue Sage Health Consulting in Ann Arbor, which trains clinicians in psychedelic therapy and helps clients “prepare for and integrate psychedelic experiences”.

Proposal E gives voters a chance to allow the mental health use of natural hallucinogens such as “magic mushrooms”, peyote, mescaline and psilocybin – but not LSD, which is made in the lab. (Two other city proposals involve a task force on racial reparations and amending the city charter.)

The passage would decriminalize adult possession and therapeutic use of so-called entheogenic plants, which contain psychoactive ingredients that alter perception, mood, consciousness, cognition or behavior. They can be used for religious ceremonies, mystical experiences, and psychological therapy.

The wording of next week’s one-sentence ballot says the approval “would make the personal possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants by adults the city’s lowest priority for drug application.” the law “. Distributing psychedelics in quantities not intended for personal use would still be illegal. (LSD, which is synthesized in the laboratory, is not

The Detroit Free Press and Metro timetable approve the passage.

Pros and cons: The points on each side are summarized below

Ann Arbor council members unanimously decriminalized psychedelic plants and mushrooms in September 2020, a policy adopted by Washtenaw County District Attorney Eli Savit. “I do not intend to continue the use or possession of entheogenic plants in any other part of the county,” he said shortly after the council resolution. “The war on drugs has been a bitter failure.”

In Washington state, the Seattle city council earlier this month voted unanimously to decriminalize the non-commercial use of psychedelics, including growing and sharing psilocybin mushrooms. “These natural, non-addictive substances have real potential in clinical and therapeutic settings to make a truly significant difference in people’s lives,” said the sponsor of the resolution. A city task force studying opioid overdoses recommended this step.

Lansing legislation

In Michigan, Democratic State Senators Adam Hollier of Detroit and Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor introduced legislation last month to legalize the non-commercial possession, cultivation and delivery of psilocybin, mescaline and other psychedelics. The measure would ban criminal penalties if people “do not receive money or other valuable consideration for the plant or the entheogenic fungus.” It permits “reasonable fees for counseling, spiritual guidance or a related service which is provided in conjunction with the use of an entheogenic plant or fungus.”

“These substances have medicinal value, they have religious significance, and they have a very low propensity for abuse,” Irwin said. Michigan Advance. “It really doesn’t make sense to spend time or money arresting people and turning their lives upside down.”

Merch from a national advocacy and education group based in Oakland, California.

These measures are part of a national movement that follows the legalization of cannabis, although hallucinogen dispensaries are not yet a thing.

Denver became in 2019 the first American city to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin. Voters in Oregon legalized psilocybin therapy last November, and residents of Washington, DC, voted to make possession of psychedelics a lower priority offense.

Johns Hopkins University and the University of California-Berkeley have opened psychedelic research centers in recent years.

(Illustration: Journal of Jungian Scholarly Studies)

What supporters and critics are saying

Points in favor of proposition E:

  • US citizens have the right to use the plants of their choice.
  • These substances have been used for medicinal and ritual purposes by indigenous cultures for thousands of years.
  • Hallucinogens can have a significant impact on mental and spiritual health with lasting benefits, according to some researchers. They are potentially useful in the treatment of drug addiction, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts.
  • They can help terminally ill cancer patients have “very profound experiences with music, support, safety… and that just stays with them.” – Dr Sunil Aggarwal of Seattle, instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Allowing supervised use by professionals reduces the risk of unguided “trips”.
  • “Naturally occurring entheogenic plants are generally not addictive, nor do they pose a significant risk of fatal overdose. Additionally, entheogenic plants are not associated with violent behavior.” – Washtenaw County District Attorney’s Office
  • “The exploration of consciousness using plants tends to restore a connection between people and the natural world.” – Decriminalize Nature Michigan

Concerns about Proposition E:

  • There is little research to support the therapeutic use of hallucinogens.
  • Some patients would choose psychedelic therapy over conventional mental health care which may be more appropriate.
  • The passage could bring loosely supervised recreational use and unguided hallucinogen experimentation by thrill seekers.
  • Decriminalization in Michigan’s largest city would boost this statewide step.

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