Michigan City Council votes to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in Ann Arbor

After Denver, it's Ann Arbor's turn to decriminalize psychedelics, city council members vote 11-0 to decriminalize use of psychedelic mushrooms

Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council unanimously passed a resolution to decriminalize natural psychedelics, including mushrooms and ayahuasca, becoming the fourth US city to approve such a reform. Last May, voters in Denver, Colorado took a historic step forward by adopting a municipal initiative to decriminalize mushrooms containing psilocybin, most commonly known as psychedelic mushrooms.

Ann Arbor was one of the first American cities to decriminalize cannabis in the 1970s, and its approach to the fight against drugs is much more flexible than that of most other cities in Michigan. The initiative does not legalize federally banned mushrooms, but prevents police and city prosecutors from arresting and / or prosecuting adults aged 21 or older for possession or use of psilocybin mushrooms. The grassroots initiative also states that adults who cultivate the mushroom for their own use will be considered a low priority for city police.

Anne Bannister, a member of the Ann Arbor City Council, said the city police department had previously viewed psychedelics as "a very low priority in law enforcement." The plants remain illegal under state law and police can press charges for their possession if they commit other crimes, the report says.

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Several states take resolutions

Oakland and Santa Cruz, Calif., Have both adopted similar measures. In 2019, voters in Denver, Colorado approved an initiative to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. The Vermont legislature is on hold for a bill that would decriminalize psilocybin, ayahuasca, peyote and kratom statewide, but the measure was not put to a vote. Voters in Oregon will vote in November on legalizing psilocybin for medical use. If approved, Oregon would be the first state to legally allow the use of psychedelics for medical or recreational purposes.

According to resolution, these plants and fungi "can be beneficial for psychological and physical well-being, support and strengthen religious and spiritual practice and can restore the inalienable and direct relationship of man with nature".

Supporters of the initiative pointed to research indicating the mushroom's enormous medical potential for treating depression, addiction and, possibly, PTSD. Other research has shown that the fungus is not addictive, unlike the substance's status in Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

decriminalization, psychedelic mushrooms
psychedelic mushrooms

Could Microdosing Psychedelics Help Treat Schizophrenia?

There is a growing body of "clues" that suggest that low doses of psychedelics may be used to treat schizophrenia.

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Most of the evidence is anecdotal or from the 50s, but there is just enough that is worth examining, says Mark Haden. He is executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Canada and Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

That's not to say that all doses of psychedelics are safe for people with schizophrenia, the science is clear: Psychedelics can worsen symptoms of schizophrenia and make you lose touch with reality, Mr Haden said.

But low doses, called microdoses, of cannabis, psilocybin, DMT, and LSD have been reported by one man to be effective therapy for his schizophrenia.

The experiences of this man were published by MAPS in an anonymous autobiography on Tuesday.

Through microdosing about three times a week for four years, the author wrote that he went from negative headspace four times a day to four times a year. 

Microdosing, for him, was like going to school and spending time with savvy teachers - eventually you learn their lessons and can move on, he says. These days, the author reports microdosing with LSD for better accuracy and to help him see the world in a positive light. 

“Psychedelics are not for everyone,” he writes. “But new, effective treatments for schizophrenia are badly needed. I believe that psychedelic therapy for schizophrenia may be the first truly effective treatment.

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