Yesterday Detroiters went to the polls and voted in Proposal E with 61.1% of the votes, decriminalizing entheogenic plants in Michigan's largest city. Just this past week, Cannabis Counsel® Law Firm Partner Matthew Abel gave an interview with FOX 2 News Detroit regarding how Proposal E change things for people using mushrooms in Detroit, but exactly are entheogenic plants, and what does this mean for you?
In dictionary terms, an entheogen is a psychoactive, hallucinogenic substance or preparation derived from plants or fungi that is ingested to produce an altered state of consciousness. In plain terms, entheogenic plants like the commonly called 'magic mushrooms' are growing things that contain naturally occurring psychoactive substances that change the way you see the world around you. Other examples of traditional entheogenic plants are Peyote a cactus native to southwest North America, and Ayahuasca a DMT tea preparation from the Amazon Rainforest.
The first city to pass a law decriminalizing any kind of entheogen was Denver, CO. In 2019 Denver passed Initiated Ordinance 301 by a slim margin of 50.64%. This law deprioritized to the greatest extent enforcement of laws that prohibited psilocybin mushrooms, and prohibited the city from spending resources on prosecuting those 21 and up for their possession or use. However Denver's law only applies to mushrooms, Detroit's new rules are broader and place Ayahuasca, Peyote, and other mind altering plants at the same enforcement priority as psilocybin.
In fact, the broad nature of the law seems to include concentrates and extractions made from these plants. This could mean that prosecutors would not bring charges for things like liquid mescaline or DMT powder, but this remains to be seen. The only way we will find out more is if someone is arrested and charged with a case and tries to use Prop. E as a defense.
So what does this mean for you? If you are a Detroit resident or visitor, found responsibly using an entheogenic plant like mushrooms, peyote, or Ayahuasca tea on private property for therapeutic use, the Detroit Corporation Counsel is unlikely to prosecute.
If you are using or possessing a concentrate or extraction from these plants like psilocybin, mescaline, or DMT you may be at risk for prosecution. Regardless, the manufacture and sale of these substances remains illegal under state law. It remains to be seen whether cultivating these plants for personal therapeutic use will be widespread and how it will be treated by law enforcement.
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