Hazel Park becomes third Michigan city to decriminalize natural psychedelics

Hazel Park joins the psychedelic revolution

Mar 23, 2022 at 10:10 am
click to enlarge Hazel Park City Council voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms and other entheogenic plants. - Shutterstock
Hazel Park City Council voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

Hazel Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

The resolution defines entheogenic plants as “plants, fungi, and natural materials that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.” They include psychedelic mushrooms, peyote, mescaline, ayahuasca, and dimethyltryptamine, or DMT.

The unanimous vote means that the possession, cultivation, distribution, and purchasing of entheogenic plants must be among the lowest priority for the city’s law enforcement. The resolution also bars the use of city funds or resources to investigate, arrest, or prosecute someone for allegedly violating state or federal laws banning the use of entheogenic plants.

“We need to eliminate the stigma around entheogenic plants and acknowledge them for what they are — legitimate medicinal and therapeutic substances that have improved countless lives,” Hazel Park City Councilmember Luke Londo, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement. “As a proponent and occasional consumer, it’s critical that we normalize these natural treatments that allow people to overcome addiction, improve their mental health and embrace their religion and spirituality.”

Hazel Park is the third city in Michigan to decriminalize entheogenic plants.

Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted to decriminalize the plants in September 2020. In November 2021, Detroit voters decriminalized the plants.

In January 2021, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit said his office would no longer prosecute cases involving entheogenic plants.

Eleven other cities nationwide have decriminalized either psilocybin or all entheogenic plants, according to Decriminalize Nature Michigan, which was instrumental in the ballot proposal decriminalizing entheogenic plants in Detroit.

Decriminalize Nature Michigan is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would decriminalize entheogenic plants statewide.

“We are grateful for the Hazel Park City Council’s action tonight, and hope to see other cities and the entire state of Michigan follow suit,” said Shan Vicius, a psychedelic integration coach who runs the Decriminalize Nature Hazel Park chapter. “People like me who use entheogenic plants are your friends, your clients, your family, and your neighbors. We deserve the ability to use these natural medicines that significantly improve our wellness and our lives.”

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