Boston Suburb Votes To Decriminalize Natural Psychedelics

A Boston suburb recently became the latest U.S. jurisdiction to eliminate penalties on the possession and cultivation of entheogenic plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, the peyote cacti and the iboga plant.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, which has a population of over 105,000, is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Psychedelics Momentum In Massachusetts: Three weeks ago, Somerville — another Boston suburb north of Cambridge — passed a similar measure with unanimous votes from its City Council.

The Cambridge City Council voted 8 to 1 to decriminalize “all Entheogenic Plants and plant-based compounds,” making them a lowest law enforcement priority (h/t Marijuana Moment).

The resolution cites the so-called War on Drugs, which “has historically led to unnecessary penalization, arrest, and incarceration of vulnerable people, particularly people of color and of limited financial means.”

“Entheogenic plants, which include a spectrum of natural plants, fungi, and natural materials, have been used for centuries by people in different cultures to address [medical] conditions,” said the measure’s text.

These conditions include substance abuse disorder, addiction, PTSD, chronic depression, end-of-life anxiety, grief, cluster headaches, and tendencies toward recidivism.

Entheogenic plants and fungi, says the statement, can also be used to improve mental and socio-emotional health.

With this resolution, the City Council calls upon the County District Attorney to cease prosecution of persons involved in the use, possession, or distribution of entheogenic plants.

Following momentum on psychedelics decriminalization, State Representative According to the Boston Globe, Mike Connolly is planning to introduce a bill meant to create a committee of experts “to study whether Massachusetts should decriminalize natural psychedelics and legalize their administration in therapeutic settings statewide.” 

A Move To Decriminalize Nature: Cambridge’s decision comes on the heels of a series of measures taken by several U.S. jurisdictions towards decriminalizing entheogenic plants and natural psychedelics. 

The movement is represented by Decriminalize Nature, an NGO with presence in more than 100 jurisdictions, which stands behind the activism that led to the implementation of decriminalization measures by legislators in other US cities including Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor and Denver.

In November 2020, decriminalization measures also became real in Washington DC, via a ballot vote held during the Presidential Election. Another ballot vote made Oregon the first state to legalize and regulate a program for the medical application of psilocybin-assisted therapy throughout the state.

Florida, Hawaii and Connecticut recently had bills related to the legalization of psilocybin introduced in their legislatures.

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