Michigan Prosecutor Not Pursuing Psychedelics Possession Cases After Decriminalization Vote

The Democratic candidate vying for the Washtenaw County prosecutor position who is also running unopposed in the General election said in a statement to the Decriminalize Nature (“DN”) branch in Ann Arbor that his office would not pursue any cases on psychedelics possession. This coming after the City Council recently voted to decriminalize entheogenic substances in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Eli Savit, the soon to be prosecutor, said to the psychedelics reform organization that he fully supported the measure and would extend the initiative across the county, rather than let it remain just at the city level.

He added that he believed the war on drugs to be a terrible failure and that he saw no reason to prosecute or criminalize people for using the plants.

Savit, who had run his campaign on a pro-reform platform asserted that the data indicated how people of color and in particular, black people, were far more likely to face criminal charges related to drug use as compared to their white counterparts.

He revealed that he had no intentions of prosecuting the possession or use of entheogenic substances in any part of Michigan county, despite the Ann Arbor City council vote which was conducted earlier this month only applying to Ann Arbor.

The unanimous decision by the council made Ann Arbor the fourth United States city to make the enforcement of laws against psychedelic substances such as ayahuasca, ibogaine and psilocybin a low priority for law enforcement. The first city in the country to do so was Denver, then Oakland and Santa Cruz followed shortly after. Many speculate Washington D.C. might be next, with activists having successfully placed the initiative on the November ballot.

By Savit declaring his support for the Ann Arbor City Council law reform shows how important and educational the messaging that leads to these local policy changes is and how it can indirectly affect people who may not be in the immediate jurisdiction.

The chair of DN, Julie Barron, stated in an interview that the organization was thrilled to learn that the incoming prosecutor supported the Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor resolution. This, she says, gives them hope for the county’s future.

Other prosecutors seem to be following in Savit’s footsteps, with Baltimore’s top prosecutor proactively dismissing hundreds of drug possession cases and closing warrants that her office will not be pursuing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. While in Fairfax County, Virginia, Chief of police Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr. has directed that his office dismiss any adult prosecution cases of possession of marijuana.

Analysts say these winds of change in favor of various psychedelics bode well for sector players like Cybin Corp. who are likely to grow faster as more jurisdictions open up to entheogenic substances.

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