Last week, the city council of Easthampton, Massachusetts, passed a psychedelics initiative that calls for some drugs and entheogenic substances to be decriminalized. The initiative, which was approved in a 7 to 0 vote, had been filed by Owen Zaret, a member of the City Council. The effort was spearheaded by Bay Staters for Natural Medicine (baystatersnm.org), a group of grassroots volunteers that has passed near-identical resolutions in three other Massachusetts cities.
After the vote, Zaret stated in an interview that he felt indebted to the council for being forward thinking, noting that this progress would allow individuals to access effective therapies while also terminating needless arrests and imprisonments. However, the initiative doesn’t require law enforcement to deprioritize the enforcement of rules and laws that prohibit psychedelic substances. This is in addition to being nonbinding.
The measure also states that the possession and use of every controlled substance should first be understood and primarily seen as a public health issue by city commissions, boards, agencies, departments and all other city employees. Legislators recommend that arresting individuals for possessing or using controlled substances intended for personal therapeutic use by adults, excluding the use of animal-sourced controlled substances and lophophora, be the lowest priority of law enforcement in Easthampton.
In a phone interview, Zaret stated that the misuse of substances wasn’t a criminal issue but a public health issue. He explained that an aggressive campaign was needed to call attention to the truth that substance misuse was a matter of public health.
This move by the Easthampton city council comes soon after the city council of Northampton approved a measure stating that no police or government funds shall be utilized in the enforcement of laws that criminalize individuals for possessing or using entheogenic fungi and plants. Easthampton is the fourth city to decriminalize psychedelics, with the other two being the cities of Cambridge and Somerville.
Psychedelic-reform movements are also advancing in other parts of the country, with the city council of Seattle recently passing a measure to decriminalize noncommercialized activities around various psychedelic substances, which include the sharing and growing of nonpeyote-sourced mescaline, ibogaine, ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms.
In the state of Michigan, the city council of Grand Rapids passed an initiative in September that also calls for the decriminalization of an extensive range of psychedelic substances. The city council of Ann Arbor has opted to make enforcing laws governing psychedelic substances such as DMT, ayahuasca and psilocybin among the lowest priorities in the city. Soon after this, legislators in the city declared September to be Entheogenic Fungi and Plants Awareness Month.
Different city councils and states are doing what they can to bring about psychedelic policy reform, and so are companies such as Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF). These efforts are likely to change public perception and trigger legal reforms in a growing number of jurisdictions, with the public being the ultimate winner since these substances have been proven to possess medicinal properties.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/DELCF
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