The City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan voted unanimously to decriminalize all psychedelic plants and fungi on Monday night. It’s an expansive move that will allow banned substances including ayahuasca, peyote, mescaline, and psilocybin, better known as “magic mushrooms,” in the area — and one that, like the decriminalization of cannabis in a growing number of areas, could potentially spark a showdown with federal authorities.
Citing potential medical and spiritual benefits, the Council declared that growing, distributing, possessing, and transporting psychedelics is officially the lowest priority for law enforcement in the area, MLive reports. The City Council also requested that the Prosecutor’s Office no longer pursue cases related to psychedelic plants or fungi.
The vote comes after a year-long lobbying effort, MLive reports, as councilmembers were initially reluctant to decriminalize what remains a controlled substance at the federal level. But it was emerging evidence that psychedelics like psilocybin could treat medical conditions that eventually brought them around.
“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” the Council’s resolution states.
By decriminalizing psychedelics, Ann Arbor joins the ranks of Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California, both of which have passed similar resolutions in recent years. And in the coming months, other cities and states may as well.
This November, psilocybin decriminalization and legalization bills will appear on the ballot in Washington D.C., and Oregon, while New York and Vermont lawmakers have also introduced decriminalization bills in recent months.