Discover more from The Trip Report by Beckley Waves
A Survey of Decriminalization & Legalization Efforts
“One of the things that I discovered is that the predominant effects of drugs are positive”—Carl Hart
If you’re reading this, you already know…
...there are a handful of psychedelic legislative measures and ballot initiatives up for consideration in a growing number of American cities and states.
The specifics of these efforts are more defined in some places than others. Some are further along and seeking voter approval in November, others have been passed, but the details remain to be ironed out.
Before getting into the individual initiatives, it would be wise to point out that while there is excitement for the psychedelic renaissance and the return to legal status, it is the illegality of the drugs no one is talking about that wreak the worst societal ills.
It is a logical, ethical, spiritual, political and scientific error of the highest order to consider people who use drugs, criminals, deviants, or moral failures. This prohibitionist fuckwaddery has destroyed lives, families, and communities.
For the curious, the Drug Policy Alliance has a concise explanation of Drug Decriminalization and a more thorough report. The Beckley Foundation, in addition to supporting psychedelic science, also champions drug policy reform.
I am not sure if it is the right thing for the psychedelic movement to hitch its wagon to drug reform, though some argue it should.
But for those of us seeking to make our livelihoods in the emerging psychedelic space, it is helpful to remember that drug policy plays a direct role in rates of substance abuse, addiction, depression, PTSD, and other conditions psychedelic medicine seeks to address.
If we’re going to champion new treatments, we need to be mindful of the societal forces that lead us here.
Current drug policy is a major contributor.
Now onto The Trip Report’s quick and dirty guide to decriminalization and legalization efforts.
Denver Psilocybin Initiative - as the name implies, psilocybin mushrooms are the only plant/fungus/molecule to be protected by the de-escalation measure. There is no regulation/tax/sale component that I am aware of.
“Shall the Voters of the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance to the Denver Revised Municipal Code that would make the personal use and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms by persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority, prohibit the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties for the personal use and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms by persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older, and establish the psilocybin mushroom policy review panel to assess and report on the effects of the ordinance?”
The Denver Psilocybin Panel, aka ‘the mile high 11’, met for their first meeting in February.
“The conclusion that we arrived at yesterday is that we have a lot ideas about what reporting standards should look like,” he said. “There’s not too much of a common practice around identifying demographic information and things like environment and context and the mental state of an individual who’s contacted by law enforcement.”
The next step for the review panel is to define those reporting standards and finalize them by March 31. Matthews said the body will hold another meeting prior to that deadline, where data analysts from the Denver Police Department and other agencies will offer their perspective. The group will submit its recommendations to the City Council next year.”
“Requesting the department of health to convene a medicinal psilocybin working group to examine the medicinal and therapeutic effects of psilocybin and develop a long term strategic plan to ensure the availability of medicinal psilocybin or psilocybe-based products that are safe, accessible, and affordable for eligible adults.”
House Bill 2567 appears to have been submitted, and organizers are awaiting a hearing date. If approved, Hawaii’s psilocybin working group would put forward a legalization framework, recommendations, and proposed plan by 2022.
The resources at The Clarity Project’s website
“Developed with therapeutic and mental health experts, IP 34 provides research-based therapeutic options through a strict framework of regulation, overseen by the Oregon Health Authority. Psilocybin will not be available to buy in stores or to take home; psilocybin products will not be branded or marketed to the general public; and strict regulations ensure psilocybin will only be used in licensed settings under the supervision of trained facilitators.”
There’s no mistaking that PSI is focused on the therapeutic aspect with measures in place to prevent a consumer market. In an interview with lead organizers Sheri and Tom Eckert they make note that people who simply want to explore their consciousness will also be able to access the set, setting and trip sitters/guides.
Is there another example of naturally occurring products that require administration by a licensed professional but not as a GMP grade pharmaceutical? In other words, will this be a first for “GMP grade” naturally occurring product?
I hope that makes sense.
The other action in Oregon is IP 44:
The 2020 Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act - Yes on IP 44
“IP 44 changes Oregon’s approach to drugs so more people get help, not arrested. The initiative does this by expanding access to treatment and recovery services, so anyone who wants help can get it. IP44 also shifts away from punishing people who are suffering from addiction by removing criminal penalties for low-level possession of all drugs, while incentivizing people to get treatment. IP 44 does not create new taxes: it’s paid for with revenue from Oregon’s existing marijuana tax.”
I could be naive but I would think that IP 44 and IP 34 would, in fact, be very complimentary to each other. I thought I read somewhere that there were squabbles between the groups but if they both passed it would put Oregon in a truly unique position to lead the way in bottom-up psychedelic-assisted therapy (non-pharmaceutical) and radical, evidence-based drug reform.
California has two notable movements, DecrimCA (state level) and the nationwide/worldwide movement Decriminalize Nature (local level). DecrimCA originally put forward a plan that did not include a regulation/sale/tax framework but they have since changed tactics.
Decriminalize Nature is an open-source strategy that can scale to any local city or municipality, there are quite a few active campaigns across the country—Decriminalize Nature Maine where you at!?!—the DecrimNature strategy according to Carlos Plazola
“is to decriminalize throughout the U.S., and then in areas that have achieved this basic standard of equitable access for all people through decriminalization, to then pursue a regulatory framework emerging from compassion, with the clear intention of prioritizing healing above profits.”
I worry that going beyond the grow-gather-give model, Decriminalize Nature will put itself into a Gordion Knot hoping to satisfy the variety of stakeholders and open the door for cannabis-like tomfoolery and undermine the intention.
California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative (DecrimCA)
§ 11395.100 Purposes
“This Act advances cognitive liberty and implements a comprehensive, statewide scheme authorizing and regulating the cultivation, processing and distribution of Psilocybin Mushrooms and the chemical compounds contained therein for personal, spiritual, religious, dietary, therapeutic, and medical use. The subjects addressed by this Act are a matter of statewide concern.”
§ 11395.120 Psilocybin Mushrooms.
“The personal, spiritual, religious, dietary, therapeutic, and medical use of Psilocybin Mushrooms by adults, including but not limited to the cultivation, manufacture, processing, production of edible products and extracts (with or without solvents) derived from Psilocybin Mushrooms, distribution, transportation, possession, storage, consumption, social consumption, on-site consumption, public events, farmers’ markets, and retail sale, whether or not for profit, shall be lawful in this state and is a matter of statewide concern.”
Decriminalize Nature (Oakland, Santa Cruz, et al.)
RESOLVED: That the Mayor and City Council hereby declare that it shall be the policy of the City of Oakland that no department, agency, board, commission, officer or employee of the city, including without limitation, Oakland Police Department personnel, shall use any city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of Entheogenic Plants by adults; and be it
Further Resolved: That, this resolution does not authorize or enable any of the following activities: commercial sales of manufacturing of these plants and fungi, possessing or distributing these materials in schools, driving under the influence of these materials, or public disturbance
“An act removing psilocybin and psilocin from the list of substances classified as schedule 1 controlled substances under Iowa’s uniform controlled substances Act”
“This bill proposes to decriminalize 9 psilocybin, peyote, ayahuasca, and kratom”
(We’re not hating on Iowa and Vermont just that there’s so little info available)
And here it is, your moment of Zen
As always, thanks for reading, thanks for sharing and thanks for connecting.
Until next time,
The Trip Report Pro has you covered
Don’t destroy your dopamine system scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Reddit, Google alerts, company websites, press releases, and the far corners of the internet searching for the latest news from the pupa of the psychedelic emergence.
Let me destroy mine on your behalf.
In addition to Wednesday’s free-for-all-dispatch, you’ll get The Trip Report Pro every Monday and Friday with more in-depth news and analysis from the land of psychedelia.
These are indeed wild times, and The Trip Report aims to be your Ride or Die through the changing landscape of psychedelics.
Here’s the deal:
Wednesday posts will remain free and available to all
Monday and Friday posts will be subscriber-only with more in-depth and long-tail coverage of the news, events, deals, companies, policies along with analysis and commentary.
Subscriber-only community features (discussions, guest posts, AMAs, interviews, etc.)
$15/month or $150/year
For info on Group (company and non-profit rates) and Student discounts email firstname.lastname@example.org