Activists Want Legalization For Psychedelics

By Kelly Burch 03/19/19

Oakland activists are holding a rally to push for the legalization of psychedelic drugs. 

the psychedelic drug psilocybin

As legalized marijuana creeps into the mainstream, advocates for drug policy reform are setting their sights on a new goal—legalizing psychedelics. 

Organizers in Oakland, California are the latest to push for legalizing psychedelic drugs including mushrooms, according to Marijuana Moment

A Meetup post advertising efforts to “decriminalize nature” invites people to participate in a rally on March 22 in the city. 

“With your help we can make this happen, but we need everybody’s support. Join the movement to restore our relationship to nature and advocate for our inalienable right to cognitive liberty and the freedom to explore our own consciousness,” the post reads.

It continues, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have the freedom to work with these ancient sacred medicines that offer direct knowledge without the fear of persecution? Wouldn’t it be nice to address the set and setting elephant in the room—to reduce the immediate fear of persecution involved while engaging our right to access natural healing and insight—by decriminalizing entheogenic plants and fungi?”

A representative of the meetup told Marijuana Moment that more details would be shared at the rally. 

The event in Oakland isn’t entirely unusual. In Denver, an area that helped lead the movement to legalize marijuana, voters will consider a ballot measure to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in May. The effort is lead by Decriminalize Denver, and director Kevin Matthews said that just getting the measure on the ballot is significant. 

“This has never been done before in the history of the U.S., so the fact that we were able to turn out the signatures and make the ballot is a strong statement that there are a lot of people who support this,” Matthews told Marijuana Moment. “We’ve created a platform where we can spread the right information about psilocybin as opposed to the misinformation and, really just downright propaganda from the government, and the war on drugs for the last almost 50 years now."

Matthews said that if decriminalization passes in Denver, the group may focus on more widespread change to laws regulating psychedelics. 

He said, “We are confident that when this passes in May that it’ll open some doors to further conversation. Our big mission here is to work on reintegrating psilocybin back into society.”

In Iowa, a new Republican lawmaker, Rep. Jeff Shipley, submitted legislation that would allow psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine to be used in medical treatments by removing a ban on them. 

“Exploring these issues are paramount to solving the healthcare crisis,” Shipley said in an email to Marijuana Moment. “There’s so much potential for research and clinical applications. I hope we can empower and trust patients to make their own best decisions.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.