Psychedelic decriminalization being considered in nearly 100 U.S. cities - is yours on the map?

Psychedelic decriminalization being considered in nearly 100 U.S. cities - is yours on the map?

Decriminalized psychedelics could be coming to a city near you

VicesDecember 18, 2019 By Will Brendza

It has only been six months since Denver decriminalized magic mushrooms, putting the first crack in the American psychedelic levee. Weeks after that, the Oakland city council unanimously voted to decriminalize all natural psychedelic substances.

Now, that movement has caught fire. Across the country the activist organization, “Decriminalize Nature” is working with activist cells, striving to get natural psychedelic substances (like mushrooms, ibogaine, ayahuasca and peyote) decriminalized in almost 100 different US jurisdictions.

It seems that the levee, which has kept these radical, mysterious and enlightening substances illegal for so long, is finally starting to break.

Photo courtesy of Decriminalize Nature

Decriminalize Nature published the above map this week, detailing just how extensive their movement has become. It’s got the most up-to-date information out there, and it illustrates just how quickly and widespread this decriminalize movement has become. Cities from Miami to Seattle, LA to Philadelphia are all working on their own decriminalization movements.

The map is color coded to show what stage of reform each jurisdiction is in. And, realistically, most of these places are only in the beginning stages of getting psychedelic decriminalization on a ballot – let alone getting the policy passed. But, the simple fact that there are already so many places where people want this to happen, is reassuring and hopeful.

Just think about the progression of cannabis decriminalization/legalization in the US. It took decades, and it was a slow process of decriminalization in California to legalization in Colorado. Today, though, five years after Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis use, it’s fully legal in 11 different states and medically legal in another 30. In fact, now, there are only nine states where cannabis is still fully illegal.

And that’s just in a few years.

By comparison, the psychedelic decriminalization movement seems to be moving much faster. Maybe that’s because weed opened people’s minds up, to be more accepting of drugs they were once told were dangerous and unhealthy. Maybe it’s because drug activists know the system a little better, and know how to push a substance towards legalization more efficiently. Maybe it’s because state governments, businesses and entrepreneurs saw how much money was made with the creation of the weed industry, and want to open up another New Frontier that they can get in on the ground floor of.

Whatever the reason behind it, the decriminalization of natural psychedelic substances would be a good thing for this country — no matter what your grandma, or your uncle Jethro has to say about it. Magic mushrooms have been labeled as a “Breakthrough Therapy Drug” by the FDA, for psilocybin’s immense potential to treat depression. Ibogaine is actively used around the world to treat serious substance addictions. Ayahuasca and peyote have been helping people attain spiritual health for hundreds and thousands of years. Decriminalizing substances like these, will not make America a worse place to live. Just like legalizing cannabis didn’t, just like the end of the alcohol prohibition didn’t.

In fact, it would likely make America an even safer place. Any time the need for a black market is eliminated, you also eliminate crime. People wouldn’t have to rely on shady drug dealers to get their psychedelics anymore – they could grow it themselves or just order it legally online.

On top of all that there are economic advantages to decriminalizing these things too. Prison’s would have more space since common psychedelic dealers/users wouldn’t be unnecessarily taking up prison beds. Police officers would no longer have to dump resources into the persecution of psychedelic dealers/users. And, of course, if they were ever fully legalized as weed has been, there would be a lot of potential tax money for states to cash in on.

The movement is alive, ladies and gentlemen. It’s real and it’s happening and at this rate, you may soon see decriminalized natural psychedelic substances in a city near you.

If you want to get involved with a Decriminalize Nature movement in your neck of the woods, check out their website and sign up to volunteer or check out their events. They’re looking for all the help they can get.