San Francisco decides to decriminalize herbal psychedelics

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion to decriminalize herbal psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca, CNN affiliate KPIX-TV reported.
The measure, resolution #220896, relates to entheogenic plants, another term for psychoactive plants, or plants that can induce changes in perception and mood. He asks the San Francisco police to give investigations and arrests related to the use of these substances “the lowest priority”.
This class of drugs includes psilocybin, or so-called “magic” mushrooms, and peyote, which are controlled as substances known as “Schedule 1” by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (Ayahuasca isn’t technically in this category, but its active component, DMT, is.)

These drugs are defined by the DEA as having no accepted medical use and are top of the list for enforcement.

So far, it’s unclear what impact the motion will actually have on policing psychedelics in San Francisco. Certain psychedelic practices, such as the use of ayahuasca in certain religious contexts, are already protected in the United States under the principle of religious freedom, according to the resolution.

San Francisco police have not set a specific policy regarding entheogen use, KPIX-TV reported.

The resolution was sponsored by supervisors Dean Preston and Hillary Ronen, according to KPIX-TV, and welcomed by the Decrim SF organization, which released a statement of support.

“I am proud to work with Decrim Nature to put San Francisco on the record in favor of the decriminalization of psychedelics and entheogens,” Preston, co-sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement.

“San Francisco joins a growing list of cities and countries taking a fresh look at these herbal medicines, following the science and data, and destigmatizing their use and culture. Today’s unanimous vote is an exciting step forward.”

The measure also urges the California and federal governments to decriminalize their use.

A dose of
San Francisco is following in the footsteps of its neighbor, Oakland, Calif., which decriminalized herbal psychedelics in 2019. But the legal path to psychedelic bliss in California has encountered obstacles: Just at the start of this year, the proposed Senate Bill 519, which decriminalized entheogens statewide, was delayed pending further research.

The resolution defines entheogens as “the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials that can inspire personal and spiritual well-being, can benefit psychological and physical well-being, and can restore the inalienable and direct relationship of man with nature”.

The resolution cites research that has found psychedelics to have significant health benefits, having been used in the treatment of PTSD, opiate and methamphetamine addiction, depression and cluster headaches.

“There is an unmet need in San Francisco communities for the compassionate and effective care that these drugs provide, Decrim SF said in its statement.

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