Is Illinois Next Up To Decriminalize Psychedelics? Lawmaker Introduces New Bill

The psychedelics reform wave has arrived in Illinois, specifically Evanston where councilmember Devon Reid intends to advance a local decriminalization measure in an upcoming December 2022 committee meeting, reported Marijuana Moment.

Reid’s bill recycles language from a broader drug decriminalization measure he sponsored and which includes deprioritization provisions of other U.S. psychedelics proposals. As such, under the new measure possession, cultivation and delivery of entheogenic substances would not equate with jail time but rather a small fine, which could eventually be pardoned for those who agree to get involved in a drug treatment program or public service.

The new proposal states that investigating or arresting anyone engaged in activities like planting, buying or gifting “entheogenic plants or plant compounds” -namely psilocybin, psilocin, peyote and ayahuasca but potentially others as well- would become the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.

If approved, Evanston would become the first Illinois locality to enact a measure of this kind. Reid said he believes regulating the psychedelics market is also an important part of the reform.

“We need to change our approach to drug laws. I think particularly with controlled substances such as cannabis, psilocybin and other naturally-derived substances, our approach is just too heavy-handed. It doesn’t really help us get to the root of what we’re really trying to solve” said Reid, joining those from across the country calling on the need for more effective drug policies 

In addition to Colorado’s recent legalization of psychedelics possession and creation of psilocybin healing centers and Oregon’s legal psilocybin therapy since 2020, psilocybin is decriminalized in Washington, D.C. and several other cities, New York regulators have proposed legalization bills for 2022. 

Bills decriminalizing possession have been introduced in 19 states though none have been enacted, while some states -including Florida, Oklahoma and Texas- have introduced legislation to further study the psychedelic’s therapeutic benefits. 

And yet, of the more than 60 bills introduced country-wide, most are stalled in committee or have failed to get a vote so far.

Photo courtesy of Pexels and Pixabay.

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