Breaking psychedelic news!
Seattle has become the largest U.S. city so far to decriminalise natural psychedelics, such as psilocybin (from magic mushrooms and magic truffles), ayahuasca, ibogaine, and non-peyote derived mescaline. On October 4, the vote was unanimous at 9-0.
No Arrests for ‘Social Sharing’
Resolution 32021 decriminalises the use, cultivation, and ‘social sharing’ of psilocybin mushrooms, magic truffles, and other natural psychedelics (also known as entheogens). So, if residents are caught in public on a shroom trip with their buddies, they will neither be detained nor arrested by the Seattle police. There’s a bit of a catch, though… The use of psychedelics has to be strictly ‘non-commercial’. You can’t ever sell it, but you can share it with some friends!
In a press release, Andrew J. Lewis, the councilmember who introduced the resolution, said that arresting users of psychedelics is among Seattle’s ‘lowest law enforcement priorities’:
“It is a long overdue conversation to decriminalise these non-addictive natural substances. Our law enforcement officials certainly have more important things to do than arrest people for possession of entheogens, and this resolution affirms that.”
Emerging Medical Research
Lewis also emphasised the life-saving potential of psychedelics when used together with therapy. A few months ago, he had gathered several experts, scientists, doctors, lawyers, and people who had experienced the effectiveness of psychedelics firsthand. The response? It was time for Seattle to stop treating psychedelic use as a crime — and to change the legal penalties right away.
“A community conversation…to reconcile government policy with emerging medical research regarding potential benefits of psychedelics is already well-underway.
“In a medically-appropriate and supervised environment, people who have experienced severe trauma could benefit from these substances. We need to join the national conversation.”
Magic mushrooms and magic truffles, which contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin — and other entheogens have proven themselves to be very effective in treating a host of conditions. Clinical trials have shown that taking psychedelics along with talk therapy could help patients struggling with severe depression, PTSD, addiction, grief, and end-of-life anxiety, and even cure them in some cases.
Could psychedelics be the key to finally solving the mental health crisis in America? This crucial question could be answered even within the next few years!
The Seattle Guarantee
Cops in Seattle are no longer expected to detain or arrest those who use natural psychedelics in a ‘social sharing’, free love type of situation — not even to confiscate them. There are certain exceptions to the rule, however. The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is still authorized to arrest or sue those caught:
- Holding or cultivating entheogens in a manner that poses a clear risk to oneself and others;
- Trading entheogens in a transaction which involves money (aka “commercial use”), even if the drugs are used in a religious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth setting; and
- Scoring mescaline by harvesting peyote, a cactus that grows only in Mexico and parts of the American Southwest. In Mexico, only Indigenous people can harvest it legally. Peyote matures very slowly, and has become even more “vulnerable” due to forbidden harvesting by tourists.
What makes decriminalising the use of psychedelics different from ‘legalising’ it? In the case of Seattle, even though local police won’t detain or arrest those caught with magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, and other such entheogens — this so-called ‘free pass’ is not formally written as departmental policy. In other words, you’re free to get trippy on shrooms *only* if you don’t sell or buy it. So keep that in mind, savvy Seattle psychonauts!
One Small Battle at a Time
The miracle of Seattle didn’t happen overnight. For more than two years now, members of the group Decriminalize Nature Seattle (DNS) have urged the council to stop the arrests of those who cultivate and share entheogens. And after they sent in a draft ordinance to Lewis last May, the group’s efforts have finally borne fruit. Kody Zaleski, DNS co-director and chair of policy and research, shared her joy after the vote:
“We’re happy that our years of effort have paid off in making this a reality. This is only the very beginning of conducting a much larger push to expand access to psychedelic medicine across Washington state…
“Public opinion is changing, and many people are waking up to the fact that the War on Drugs leads to unnecessary incarceration, [blocks] access to profoundly effective medicine, and [affects] both religious freedom and personal liberty.
“Social progress rarely happens through sweeping changes, but rather occurs from winning one small battle at a time.”
A Significant Difference in People’s Lives
Prior to the unanimous 9-0 vote in favor of psychedelic use, Lewis spoke to the council once more about why Seattle should take entheogens seriously:
“These non-addictive natural substances have real potential in clinical and therapeutic settings to make a really significant difference in people’s lives.
“This resolution really sets the stage as the first significant action in the state of Washington to move this policy forward.”
An End to the Opioid Crisis?
We hear all about Silicon Valley tech giants who microdose psychedelics for creative inspiration — and it’s hardly surprising. After all, law enforcement is less likely to chase down Elon Musk if he ever tries magic truffles in public. It’s a lot harder for ordinary citizens to enjoy a shroom trip outdoors in places where it’s not yet decriminalised.
This is part of the reason why Lewis wants to explore ways to “reduce social inequity”. So that those who need psychedelics for mental health, like the ones hit hardest by the devastating U.S. opioid crisis, can have access to them regardless of wealth or status. Here’s an example. Did you know that five weeks worth of psilocybin can spell the difference between alcohol addiction and a new, sober life? Can you imagine the number of lives — of families! — that a single resolution to decriminalise psychedelics could change for the better?
Red, White and (Psilocybin) Blue
You may know Seattle for its excellent coffee and endless rain. Who doesn’t love a hot cuppa in the rain-a? And today, the Emerald City joins a growing number of U.S. parts which have decriminalised some or all entheogens. A psychedelic New Wave of sorts that includes the state of Oregon; Washington, D.C.; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; and Santa Cruz and Oakland, both in California.
At the rate America is going, will it soon join the ranks of Brazil, Jamaica, Portugal, and the Netherlands? Talk about going red, white, and psilocybin blue! Who wouldn’t love to live in a psychedelic mecca where one is free to share and enjoy magic truffles (and other entheogens) to your heart’s content…?
The perfect way to spend a rainy Seattle day!
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