San Francisco city leaders plan to consider a bill to decriminalize the use of natural psychedelics, including psilocybin and ayahuasca, when the oversight board returns from recess next month. The measure, introduced by San Francisco superintendents Dean Preston and Hillary Ronen on July 26, encourages California to reform its psychedelic drug policy.
If adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the ordinance would require the San Francisco Police Department to enforce laws prohibiting the possession, use, cultivation, and transfer by adults of parasitic plants and fungi, such as psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca, and their active ingredients. It will be. The city and county of San Francisco has the lowest priority.” according to the proposal.
The ordinance also prohibits the use of city resources for “investigations, detentions, arrests, or prosecutions resulting from alleged violations of state and federal laws regarding the use of entomogenic plants on the Schedule 1 List of Federally Controlled Substances.” is requesting
Preston was critical of the SFPD’s recent increase in enforcement of laws criminalizing drug use. However, he pointed out that decriminalizing natural psychedelics is another matter.
“We’re not talking about addictive substances here. When it comes to this particular category, people are divided about the best approach to dealing with the opioids and other drugs epidemic in San Francisco. I hope that even you will agree to deprioritize crackdowns on anthozoan plants.” Preston saidadded that research shows that psychedelics may treat some serious mental health problems, including substance abuse.
The Evolution of Psychedelic Policy
Preston said the move would bring San Francisco policy in line with a move to take a fresh look at psychedelics after decades of stigma and criminalization.
“The law hasn’t evolved in any way since then, and these substances are still treated the same way they’ve always been,” Preston said. “At the same time, the scientific community has expanded research and research into therapeutic applications.”
Michael Pollan, co-founder of the Berkeley Center for Science Psychedelics and creator of a recent Netflix documentary series on drugs, said entheogenic plants can be used therapeutically, but should be used with caution. warned.
“These substances have great potential, but they are not for everyone and carry serious risks if used improperly.” polan said at a recent press conference. “The transition from the mind-shattering youth of the 60s to effective medicine in the 2020s is so abrupt as to confuse many. We want to use it to address that confusion and curiosity.”
“Not many people were doing the basic science trying to understand how psychedelics worked and why they were effective in treating various mental disorders,” Pollan added. “We want to understand what psychedelics can tell us about perception, predictive processing, belief change, brain plasticity, and more.”
If a hallucinogen decriminalization ordinance is approved by the San Francisco Oversight Board, the city will become the largest municipality to enact such a measure. Denver was the first city in the nation to decriminalize psychedelics in 2019, and since then other cities, including Oakland and Santa Cruz, California, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and East Hampton, Massachusetts, have adopted similar ordinances. I’m here. And he said two years ago, voters in Oregon approved a landmark law legalizing psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.
“One of the striking things about the Oregon experiment, which was voted on in 2020, is that it will make guided psychedelic experiences available to anyone over the age of 21, regardless of diagnosis,” Pollan said. says Mr. “I don’t think psychedelic use is confined to the medical system. It is neither now nor in the future.”
Dr. Markus Roggen, president and chief scientific officer of the psychedelics and cannabis research and development company derrick labhe said he supported the intentions of San Francisco’s psychedelic proposal.
“Criminalizing the possession/use of ‘drugs’ has cost the country a lot of money and pain, so from a philosophical point of view we welcome decriminalization,” Roggen wrote in an email. high times.
However, he added that he does not believe decriminalization has gone far enough and that the past damage caused by the criminalization of psychedelic drugs needs to be rectified. said regulation must be included, referring to the thriving illegal psychedelics industry in the Netherlands.
“It’s legal to use, but illegal to manufacture,” says Roggen. “The government has handed over this entire industry to the cartels and the mafia.”
The San Francisco Oversight Board will take action to decriminalize psychedelics when it returns from recess in September.