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Detroit Votes to Decriminalize Entheogenic Plants and Fungi

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Source: Ballotpedia
Source: Ballotpedia

On Tuesday, Detroit voters approved an initiative to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms. The city joins Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County in their push to allow Michiganders to legally access the many naturally-occurring plant medicines.

Entitled Proposal E, the initiative sought to “decriminalize the possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants, including psilocybin mushrooms.” It also declared that the Detroit Police Department “shall treat the use of entheogenic plants by adults among the lowest law enforcement priorities.”

Final results from the November 2 election are available, and they show a decisive victory for supporters of Proposal E and the broader Decriminalize Nature movement:

Detroit Proposal E

Result Votes Percentage

Approved Yes

53,710 61.08%
No 34,222 38.92%

Like those adopted in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, this initiative does not legalize the use or sale of such plants. It simply directs the city’s police department to cease directing resources to investigating and prosecuting citizens for using such substances. All three municipalities recognize the potential for entheogenic compounds to provide therapeutic benefits, but they also rightly recognize that too little clinical research has been conducted in this space.

Based on this internal memo from Legislative Policy Director David Whitaker to Detroit’s City Council, it seems that the city’s intention is to allow citizens safe and legal ways to access these natural medicines. After pointing out that the DEA considers entheogenic plants to have high potential for abuse, Whitaker acknowledges the opposing belief that they have medicinal value and religious significance and notes that the legal situation is now similar to that of marijuana.

This is truly exciting news for proponents of psychedelic compounds, both in and out of Michigan. Detroit marks the third jurisdictions in the state to decriminalize “magic mushrooms,” and that makes it the fourteenth to do so nationwide. While this is personally exciting for Michigan residents, it also creates a stronger precedent as other cities and states look to decriminalize nature.

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