In a unanimous City Council vote, a resolution was passed to make psychedelics the lowest law enforcement priority, effectively decriminalising the substances.
This makes Ann Arbor the latest city in the United States to decriminalise naturally-occurring psychedelics, after Denver, Oakland and Santa Cruz made similar moves in 2019 and 2020.
Specifically, the resolution (which can be found here) prevents the spending of City funds on activities related to the criminalisation of entheogenic plants. In concrete terms, this means that no public funds will be used to arrest, investigate or proscute Ann Arbor residents for posession of these substances.
The relevant section of the resolution states that the City Council, under the instruction of the Mayor, will “declare that it shall be the policy of the City of Ann Arbor that the investigation and arrest of persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing Entheogenic Plants or plant compounds which are on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall be the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Ann Arbor.”
Interestingly, the resolution extends to those cultivating or distribution these substances, too. However, it excludes the commercial manufacture or sale of these psychedelics, as well as their use while operating a motor vehicle.
We now look ahead to similar initiatives in other regions, such as Washington D.C. where a psychedelics decriminalisation measure will appear on the November ballot.