Detroit Says Yes To E and Decriminalizing Psychedelics

Truffle report

Detroit has become the latest major American city to decriminalize psychedelics after a ballot initiative titled ‘Proposal E’ was approved by voters late Tuesday. With all polls reporting, the measure passed by a margin of just over 61%, making the “personal possession and therapeutic use” of naturally occurring entheogenic plants and fungi by adults the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.

Most municipal decriminalization efforts have been carried out through city council votes. Detroit is an exception, with local activists having to pursue a ballot initiative to provide residents with the opportunity for direct input.

The language of the measure submitted to the state authority asked whether or not “voters of the City of Detroit [will] adopt an ordinance to the 2019 Detroit City Code that would decriminalize to the fullest extent permitted under Michigan law the personal possession and therapeutic use of Entheogenic Plants by persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older, make the personal possession and therapeutic use of Entheogenic Plants by persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority, and establish an entheogen policy review panel to assess and report on the effects of the ordinance.”

Detroit Votes to Decriminalize Possession of Psychedelics

 

Background From Ballotpedia

Support

  • Detroit Free Press:, “Approval of Prop E would not legalize use of such plants, but simply direct the Detroit Police Department to cease directing resources to investigating and prosecuting Detroiters for the use of such substances. Nor does Prop E decriminalize the sale of entheogenic plants. The Citizen Research Council’s thorough analysis notes that there is limited research to support the therapeutic use of such drugs. That’s true, and we’d like to see more data before endorsing the broad legalization or widespread sale of such substances. But that’s not what voters are being asked to do. Prop E simply asks Detroiters to make clear that investigating the personal possession and use of hallucinogenic plants should be a low priority for their city’s police department. On that, we can recommend an unequivocal vote of Yes.”[1]

Opposition

If you know of media editorial board endorsements that should be posted here, email editor@ballotpedia.org.

Background

Entheogens

Proposal E was written with the term entheogenic plants. In 1979, five academics, including Carl A. P. Ruck and Daniel Staples of Boston University, proposed the term entheogens to describe “states of shamanic and ecstatic possession induced by mind-altering drugs.” “In a strict sense,” wrote the academics, “only those vision-producing drugs that can be shown to have figured in shamanic or religious rites would be designated entheogens, but in a looser sense, the term could also be applied to other drugs, both natural and artificial, that induce alterations of consciousness similar to those documented for ritual ingestion of traditional entheogens.” Ruck et al. described the term hallucinogen as having a biased, negative meaning: “The verb ‘hallucinate,’ however, immediately imposes a value judgment upon the nature of the altered perceptions, for it means ‘to be deceived or entertain false notions.'”[2]

Laws that legalized or decriminalized psilocybin

As of 2021, at least 10 local governments, including Ann Arbor in Michigan, had passed laws that decriminalized psilocybin or changed law enforcement priorities regarding psilocybin.

Two of these laws passed as ballot measures in Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.

Denver Initiated Ordinance 301 (2019)

See also: Denver, Colorado, Initiated Ordinance 301, Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative (May 2019)

In 2019, voters in Denver, Colorado, approved Initiated Ordinance 301, which declared that the adult use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms were of the city’s lowest law enforcement priorities.[3]

Washington, D.C. Initiative 81 (2020)

See also: Washington, D.C., Initiative 81, Entheogenic Plants and Fungus Measure (2020)

In 2020, voters in Washington, D.C., approved Initiative 81, which declared that police shall treat the non-commercial cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of entheogenic plants and fungi among the lowest law enforcement priorities.[4]

Oregon Measure 109 and Measure 110 (2020)

See also: Oregon Measure 109 and Oregon Measure 110

At the election on November 3, 2020, voters in Oregon decided two ballot initiatives—Oregon Measure 109 and Oregon Measure 110—related to entheogenic plants.

Measure 109 was designed to create a program for administering psilocybin, such as psilocybin-producing mushrooms and fungi, to individuals aged 21 years or older. Measure 109 allows people to purchase, possess, and consume psilocybin at a psilocybin service center and under the supervision of a psilocybin service facilitator after undergoing a preparation session.[5]

Measure 110 was designed to decriminalize Schedule I – IV controlled substances, including some entheogenic plants, from Class A misdemeanors to Class E violations.[6] Oregon was the first state to legalize psilocybin and the first state to decriminalize all Schedule I – IV controlled substances.

https://ballotpedia.org/Detroit,_Michigan,_Proposal_E,_Decriminalization_of_Entheogenic_Plants_Measure_(November_2021)

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