Evanston’s Human Services Committee on Monday night voted down a proposal to explore legalizing psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic compound that some research shows has promising therapeutic value.
Council Members Devon Reid (8th Ward) and Bobby Burns (5th Ward) backed the proposal, which was primarily aimed at encouraging the city to take an official stance against arresting and prosecuting residents for possession or use of psilocybin. There have not been any arrests for psilocybin possession in Evanston over the last decade, police said.
Council Members Eleanor Revelle (7th Ward), Krissie Harris (2nd Ward) and Juan Geracaris (9th Ward) voted against Reid’s referral.
“We cannot change what the state has deemed a felony. We can choose to enforce it differently, meaning we could choose to make it a low-level priority for our police department,” said Mari Johnson, assistant city attorney, before the vote. “But we cannot change the fact that it is a felony.”