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Detroit will vote Tuesday on decriminalizing psychedelic drugs

Psilocybin mushrooms are sometimes called "magic mushrooms."
Eskymaks/Eskymaks - stock.adobe.com
Psilocybin mushrooms are sometimes called "magic mushrooms."

Next week voters in Detroit will be asked whether they want to decriminalize some types of drugs.

If approved, Proposition E would decriminalize possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants. That’s substances such as peyote, mescaline, and psilocybin mushrooms, sometimes called magic ‘shrooms.

Decriminalization does not mean they would be legal. Instead, Detroit police would not make those drugs a high priority for arrest and prosecution.

Eric Lupher is with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a non-partisan group which analyzed the proposal.

“This is not a big issue in the first place. Police departments and prosecuting attorneys are not spending a great deal of time dealing with these drugs.”

Lupher added that selling the drugs in Detroit would still be prosecuted.

The federal government classifies entheogenic plants and fungi as Schedule I drugs which also includes marijuana and heroin. Possession and use of entheogenic plants would still be a federal crime, but Lupher said generally it’s not strictly enforced.

The CRC analysis of Prop E suggests decriminalizing psychedelic substances would stop prosecutions and would save the City of Detroit and the state some money in enforcement costs.

Several cities across the nation are looking at decriminalizing the psychedelic drugs.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.