Michigan activists file ballot initiative on legalizing psychedelics for 2022

Michigan activists have filed a statewide ballot initiative that would legalize the possession, cultivation and sharing of psychedelics and establish a system for their therapeutic and spiritual use.

The state chapter of the national psychedelics advocacy group Decriminalize Nature and the youth-led organization Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) are joining in the effort.

Michigan’s ballot measure would legalize a range of entheogenic substances for adults 18 and older. Laws currently banning psilocybin, psilocyne, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, and DMT would be affected by the policy change.

“We are thrilled to have filed a tongue with the State of Michigan, we look forward to approval from the State Board of Canvassers and starting petitions,” Myc Williams, co-director of Decriminalize Nature Michigan who sits on the SSDP Board of Directors. Directors, said Marijuana Moment.

The proposal would authorize “supervisory, referral, therapeutic, harm reduction, spiritual, counseling and related support services with or without compensation,” according to the text of the initiative, which was filed Tuesday in the office of the Secretary of State.

There’s also a selling element, with the measure allowing “hospital or psychiatric hospital-designated” entities that have received a “certificate of need” from the state Department of Health and Human Services to cultivate and sell psychedelics to people whose physicians have issued a written recommendation to that effect.

In addition to legalizing psychedelics, the measure proposes to change state drug laws, dramatically reducing criminal penalties for possession of any other controlled substance classified as Schedule I or Schedule II of state law. .

It would also remove testing equipment used to determine the potency and purity of drugs from the definition of paraphernalia and prevent people from being prosecuted for “miniscule, residual or unusable” amounts of drugs found on paraphernalia. .

“SSDP is proud to have put forward a policy that radically reduces the criminalization of people who use drugs,” Jason Ortiz, the group’s executive director, told Marijuana Moment. “Michigan was a state that still has life sentences for drug possession, and today we have taken another step closer to ending the madness that is this war on our communities.”

Activists plan to cast the ballot again measure soon because the current version hosted on the Secretary of State’s site contains a small typo incorrectly listing the committee as the “Michigan Initiative for Community Health” when it should be “Michigan Initiative for Community Healing”.

The deadline for submitting proposed abstract text and/or explanatory material to the Board of State Solicitors is February 8. Then the board will meet to discuss the summary on February 11 and must formally approve or reject it by March 3.

Michigan may not seem like the obvious choice for such bold psychedelic reform, but it has become something of a hub for pushing the issue on a local level. More recently, Detroit voters approved a ballot initiative to broadly decriminalize psychedelics in November.

The Ann Arbor City Council previously chose to make enforcement of laws banning psychedelics like psilocybin, ayahuasca and DMT one of the city’s lowest priorities, and lawmakers later said September Entheogenic Plants and Fungi Awareness Month.

After local lawmakers passed this 2020 decriminalization resolution, the Washtenaw County District Attorney announced that his office would not prosecute charges of possessing entheogenic plants and fungi, “regardless of the amount involved.”

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In September, the Grand Rapids City Council approved a resolution supporting the decriminalization of a wide range of psychedelic substances. However, the measure fell short of what activists had hoped for, in that it does not actually change any of the city’s law enforcement practices and merely expresses support for future reforms.

A pair of state senators also introduced a bill in September to legalize the possession, cultivation and delivery of an array of plant and mushroom-derived psychedelics like psilocybin and mescaline.

Outside of Michigan, activists in Colorado recently filed revised versions of 2022 ballot initiatives to similarly legalize psilocybin and establish “healing centers” in the state. A competing campaign filed another legalization of psychedelics last week.

A bill to decriminalize a wide range of psychedelic substances in Virginia was considered by a House of Delegates panel last week, only to be pushed back until 2023. A separate Senate proposal to decriminalize psilocybin alone has was rejected by a key committee on Monday.

In Oregon, where voters approved a landmark 2020 initiative to legalize the psilocybin therapeutic program, as well as another to broadly decriminalize currently illicit drugs, lawmakers last week introduced a bill to to promote equity in the program.

Two Oklahoma Republican lawmakers recently introduced bills intended to promote research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, and one of the measures would further decriminalize low-level possession of the psychedelic.

A Utah GOP lawmaker also introduced a bill last week that would establish a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs and possible regulations for their legal use.

In Kansas, a lawmaker also recently introduced a bill to legalize the possession and low-level cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms.

A Republican lawmaker in Missouri introduced a bill this month to give residents with serious illnesses legal access to a range of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, ibogaine and LSD through an expanded version of the law. existing state on the right to try.

California Senator Scott Wiener (D) told Marijuana Moment in a recent interview that his bill to legalize possession of psychedelics has a 50/50 chance of reaching the governor’s office this year. He has already authorized the entire Senate and two Assembly committees during the first half of the two-year session.

Washington state lawmakers also introduced legislation this month that would legalize what the bill calls “supported psilocybin experiments” by adults 21 and older.

In Vermont, a broad coalition of lawmakers representing nearly a third of the House introduced a bill to decriminalize drug possession.

New Hampshire lawmakers have introduced measures to decriminalize psilocybin and all drugs.

Last year, Connecticut’s governor signed a law that includes language requiring the state to conduct a study into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms.

At the congressional level, bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this month urging the agency to allow terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an experimental treatment without fear of federal prosecution.

Meanwhile, activists announced a major national partnership as the reform movement continues to spread to cities and states across the country.

Decriminalize Nature, which has been behind many successful campaigns to decriminalize psychedelics at the grassroots level, is partnering with SSDP to push for drug policy reform.

“A national alliance of these two organizations is a unique opportunity to address the evils of the war on drugs from all sides” Myc Williams, SSDP board member and co-director of Decriminalize Nature Michigan, noted in a press release. “We are forging a path of unity that both addresses the injustices of current drug policy and provides accessible avenues for healing from the trauma that has resulted.”

Ortiz, the SSDP’s executive director, said the groups “come together today to build the power needed to correct the profit-driven framing imposed on us by corporations and their myriad lobbyists.”

“This alliance will pair young leaders with community practitioners to ensure that decriminalization and reparations are the priority of the drug policy movement as we end the disastrous and malicious war on drugs,” he said. declared. “Wherever they have a lobbyist, we will have an organized community ready to meet them.”

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