Beyond mushrooms: group wants vote to decriminalize all drugs in 2020

Beyond mushrooms: group wants vote to decriminalize all drugs in 2020

They have polling data suggesting an initiative could pass

CultureFebruary 14, 2019 By Reilly Capps

Drugs are having a moment; psychedelic mushrooms are headed for at least one vote, in Denver, in MayOregon might vote on shrooms in 2020.

But a group of policy people want to go a step further.

Decriminalization.org is working toward ballot initiatives in 2020 that would decriminalize all drugs — not just mushrooms.

They say decriminalizing all drugs is more likely to pass than just one specific drug.

What makes them think so? Polls.

A nationwide, online poll they commissioned showed that people would be more likely to support decriminalizing all drugs than certain drugs: 50 percent or more support decriminalizing all drugs.

(Decriminalization means that the possession and use of drugs is a health matter, not a crime. Cooking, growing or selling drugs is still illegal.)

That's an astonishingly high number. Higher than polling done by the Denver mushroom group, which found below 50 percent support.

"An all-drug decriminalization initiative seems like the most promising type of initiative, from the polling we've seen," Milan Griffes of Decriminalization.org said.

Why would more voters support decriminalizing all drugs, as opposed to just one drug? It's a mystery; people are strange. But maybe folks are worried about looking, say, pro-mushroom, since shrooms are scary, but would be OK with being pro-drug-policy reform.

After all, Portugal decriminalized drugs in 2001, and data shows that, since then, the number of overdoses dropped and more users sought treatment.

Decriminalization.org hopes to pick a state to fund an initiative. They suspect there could be massive youth turnout in 2020 to vote against Trump (and in some cases for him), and young voters, whether on the right, left or center, are much more willing to vote to end the Drug War than older folks. 

photo - landing page for decriminalization

[Landing page for Decriminalization.org.]

A research group called Enthea did the math on freeing up the drugs in America. They estimate that, by giving people access to psychedelics and their positive effects on depression, PTSD and addiction, lives could be saved or improved. The numbers are big. In California alone, the annual benefit is expected to be equivalent to 30,000 people each gaining an additional year of life. (The math goes like this: let folks trip, add some counseling, subtract a few spunyons, take away some addiction and depression and suicide, carry the one and … boom! Better world. And more colorful.)

The group is more likely to run a ballot initiative in a state smaller than California, Griffes said, though they haven't decided which. They say they have access to funding. 

Whatever happens, this next election is shaping up to be an interesting one.