Town of Ann Arbor decriminalizes psychedelic crops and mushrooms


ANN ARBOR, me. (AP) – The city of Ann Arbor has decriminalized psychedelic plants and mushrooms, including magic mushrooms, and police officers will no longer make them a focus of enforcement.

The city council unanimously voted on Sept. 21 for a resolution declaring it the lowest law enforcement priority in the city, MLive.com reported. This means that the authorities do not investigate or arrest anyone who plants, cultivates, buys, transports, distributes, practices or owns “entheogenic plants” or plant substances.

The resolution defines entheogenic plants as plants and fungi that contain indolamines, tryptamines and phenethylamines, "which are beneficial for mental and physical well-being, support and improve religious and spiritual practices and can restore man's inalienable and direct relationship with nature".

The move applies to ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and other substances with hallucinogenic properties that are illegal under federal and state law.

The Council calls on prosecutors to stop prosecuting plants

The city council also asked the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office to stop prosecuting anyone involved in the use of such plants and botanicals.

A grassroots group called Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2, has campaigned with city officials to address the issue.

After some council members were concerned about supporting the group's proposal earlier this year, some eventually decided they were convinced of arguments that centered on the medical and spiritual benefits of using psychedelics, particularly for mental health treatment.

A growing number of medical uses

Proponents claim that non-addictive psychedelics can provide a way out of opioid addiction.

Council members noted that any serious violation of state or federal law, or the use of entheogenic plants that pose a threat to public health, safety, and well-being can still result in the involvement of city law enforcement.

Psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, relapse, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and other debilitating conditions as per the resolution.

Last year, Denver became the first city in the United States to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. The city was followed by Oakland and Santa Cruz, California, which decriminalized all entheogenic plants.

The Associated Press

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Beth Edmonds