The latest drug policy reform is no longer cannabis: it's psychedelics.
Last year, Denver and Oakland became the first US jurisdiction to decriminalize natural psychedelics, including so-called "magic mushrooms" and other herbal hallucinogens such as peyote and ayahuasca. Similar efforts to decriminalize these substances, advocates point out, are not addictive, and research suggests that they might even have therapeutic benefits are underway in dozens of cities. The first nationwide law could be passed in Oregon in November.
Last month, advocates of IP34, an election initiative that would allow the "manufacture, supply, and administration of psilocybin (the chemical compound in" magic mushrooms ") in regulated, licensed facilities) have more than the required signatures on the ballot, but these signatures will have to be checked by the Secretary of State of Oregon later this summer.
The psychedelic decriminalization movement is also gaining momentum outside of Oregon. In Washington, D.C., a campaign to effectively decriminalize the cultivation, possession, and purchase of "entheogenic herbal and fungal medicines" is still collecting signatures for voting in November. A similar effort in California was filed due to the corona virus. And by 2022, it's likely that at least Colorado voters could see psilocybin decriminalization on their ballot papers.
But Oregon's psychedelic initiative would only decriminalize psychedelic use in clinical settings. The state also has another measure on the table that would decriminalize mushroom ownership everywhere – and also possession of most other drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. (Marijuana is already legal in Oregon.) IP44, which is pending signature verification to appear on the ballot this year, would make “personal, non-commercial possession” of drugs listed in Appendix I, II, III, or IV federally listed, reclassify controlled substances law from a crime or misdemeanor to an "offense" that earns a fine of just $ 100.
Critics want to brake. They argue that widespread decriminalization of drugs is a dangerous undertaking that would take Oregon to the outside edge of global drug policy – and would remove an important deterrent to drug abuse and experimentation. Proponents argue that the plan is more sophisticated; It would also set up a system of addiction treatment and recovery centers financed from the multi-million dollar government marijuana tax revenue. The overall aim is to shift drug use from crime to health policy – a long-term goal of the reformers, but no American state has yet attempted so extensively.