Seattle Becomes Largest U.S. City To Decriminalize Psychedelics

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Seattle’s City Council approved a resolution Monday to decriminalize noncommercial activity around a wide range of psychedelic substances, including the cultivation and sharing of psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine and non-peyote-derived mescaline.

The landmark measure extends what is already Seattle city policy not to arrest or prosecute people for personal drug possession to further protect the cultivation and sharing of psychedelic plants and fungi for “religious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth practices. Seattle Becomes Largest U.S. City To Decriminalize Psychedelics. Buy Weed Online in seattle

The legislation, passed by a unanimous vote, declares “that the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among The City of Seattle’s lowest enforcement priorities” and requests the city’s police department “move toward the formal codification and adoption of that practice as departmental policy.”

Further, it expresses the council’s intent “to determine what changes would be necessary to protect from arrest or prosecution individuals who cultivate entheogens” and to make those changes through a subsequent ordinance.

“These nonaddictive natural substances have real potential in clinical and therapeutic settings to make a really significant difference in people’s lives,” Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who introduced the resolution, said before the vote. “This resolution really sets the stage as the first significant action in the state of Washington to move this policy forward.”

“Entheogens, commonly known psychedelics, have been shown to benefit the well-being of individuals suffering from depression, severe anxiety, problematic substance use, post-traumatic stress, end-of-life anxiety, grief, and intergenerational trauma,” a press release from the councilman’s office said. “These and other physical and mental conditions are plaguing many communities, which have been further demonstrated to be exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.”

The resolution was inspired in part by the City Council’s interest in reducing opioid-related deaths. Members in June formally asked a local task force studying the overdose crisis to examine “public policy governing psychedelic medicines.” Three months later, the task force recommended the city decriminalize psychedelics and consider removing criminal penalties around all drugs.

Meanwhile, members of the advocacy group Decrim Nature Seattle has spent more than two years lobbying the council to end penalties for cultivating and sharing psychedelics. In May, the group submitted a draft ordinance to Lewis’s office at the councilmember’s request.

Decrim Nature Seattle (DNS) on Monday cheered the council’s adoption of the resolution, noting that Seattle is now the largest city in the country to have passed a decriminalization measure.

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