Decriminalize Nature say the.. Ordinance would create first-ever regulatory framework for healing the most vulnerable with plant medicine ceremony within community-containers.
July 20, 2020— On July 18th, 2020, Decriminalize Nature Core Team submitted their final draft of the Oakland Community Healing Initiative Emergency Mental Health Ordinance to Councilmember Noel Gallo, who sponsored the resolution to decriminalize entheogens, leading to a unanimous approval at the Oakland City Council on June 4th, 2019.
The ordinance would effectively create a regulatory framework enabling practitioners and facilitators to receive legal protections under a community-based healing ordinance in exchange for agreeing to abide by safe practice guidelines and principles developed by leaders and experts in plant-based healing ceremonies. The program would be largely managed by community-based organizations to ensure participants and facilitators participating in the ceremonies have been screened by leaders of long-standing respected community-based organizations providing services to the formerly incarcerated; victims of violence, trauma, and domestic abuse; the unhoused; those recovering from addiction; and communities impacted by the war on drugs.
“Members of these vulnerable communities are not receiving adequate mental health services in our country, and now with a global pandemic and increasing economic disparities, the situation is worsening. People have been healing from plant-based group ceremonies for centuries. The solution we’re offering the city is to bring the ancient wisdom and practices that have enabled communities to heal for centuries, together with modern science and harm reduction techniques that are showing high rates of success of mental health healing in scientific studies, and will cost participants next to nothing”, said Carlos Plazola, Chair of Decriminalize Nature.
Sizwe Andrews Abakah adds, “We believe that the time is now for transformation, and Oakland is ready. We know that intergenerational wellness is not only possible but necessary in order for our communities to thrive. When used in a ceremony-setting, plant medicine is a powerful healing modality that should remain sacred, and not abused, over-harvested, or commodified.”.
The DN group is hoping for final approval of the ordinance by October 2020 and would like to thank Vicente Sederberg LLP and our community visionaries for volunteering their time to help put our vision onto paper.