The Seattle City Council voted yesterday to decriminalize the use, possession, and home cultivation of psilocybin, making it the largest U.S. city so far to enact such reforms.
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously yesterday to decriminalize psychedelics including psilocybin and similar substances, Bloomberg reports. Often colloquially called “magic mushrooms,” psilocybin is considered a Schedule 1 substance under federal law.
Officially, the change calls for local law enforcement (including police and prosecutors) to make naturally occurring psychedelic substances like psilocybin and ayahuasca their lowest priority.
“Our overall goal is to follow the lead of Oregon,” Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis told Bloomberg ahead of the vote (Oregon was the first state to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin in 2020).
“There’s a huge demonstrated potential for these substances to provide cutting-edge treatments for substance abuse, recovery from brain injuries, [and other issues]. I want to make sure we’re following the science in our policies around regulating these substances.” — Lewis, via Bloomberg
Psychedelics reform is gathering steam across the U.S.:
- Seattle is the ninth U.S. city to enact such reforms since Denver paved the way with a successful 2019 voter initiative.
- Other major U.S. cities with the reforms include Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, and Washington D.C.
- There are currently two efforts underway to decriminalize psychedelics in California: one as a planned voter initiative and the other would be through the Legislature.
- A Maine proposal from earlier this year would legalize psilocybin therapy for anyone aged 21 or older.
- Vermont considered psychedelics decriminalization last year.
Even the DEA signaled this year it was preparing for an influx of psychedelics-related developments after the federal agency called for a significant increase in psilocybin production for federal research and clinical trials.