The stigma surrounding psychedelics has seemed to change with the times. Accordingly, there have been what appears to be widespread efforts to change the legal status of certain psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, more commonly referred to as Magic Mushrooms. But make no mistake, they are still illegal in Illinois and local efforts to decriminalize them have recently been rejected.
Evanston City Council Rejects Proposal to Decriminalize Psilocybin
A measure brought by Evanston City Council members to formally decriminalize psilocybin, (commonly known as the psychedelic component of “magic mushrooms”) along with four other psychedelic drugs, was recently voted down 3-2 by Evanston’s Human Services Committee. Although there have not been any arrests for psilocybin possession by Evanston Police officers over the last decade, the Council members in favor of the measure wanted to formalize a policy that would have made Evanston the first city in Illinois to decriminalize the drug by making possessing, cultivating, and delivering such substances as punishable by a $100 fine without the threat of any jail time. Still, even though this measure failed, there have been national and local movements pushing to decriminalize certain psychedelics.
Nationwide Attention to Therapeutic Effects of Psychedelic Drugs
The states of Oregon and Colorado have already decriminalized psilocybin, along with cities across the United States such as Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Oakland. Earlier this month, The Oregon Health Authority issued its first license for a psilocybin treatment center in accordance with a voter initiative passed two years ago to legalize the drug for therapy in the state. In the face of mounting research that psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs can be a safe and effective treatment for serious medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, the medical community has begun touting the potential for these natural remedies. Lifestyle influencers seem to regularly tout the benefits of “micro-dosing;” however, as the Evanston Counsel showed us recently, there is bound to be local resistance to change and the coming years could see a patchwork of local, state, and federal regulations in opposition to one another as attitudes change and further studies are conducted, much like current regulations surrounding marijuana. Those interested in exploring regulation that decriminalizes the drug or make it available for research/therapy are encouraged to interact with local, state, and federal representatives to make their opinions known.
Summer Music Festivals Lead to Law Enforcement Crackdown On Psychedelic Drugs
As the summer concert and music festival season approaches, law enforcement will undoubtedly crack down on psychedelic drugs. Regional music festivals like Summer Camp, Electric Forest, Summer Fest, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza, or even jam-band concerts seem to be favorites for law enforcement officers to make arrests, seize and forfeit money and vehicles and step-up drug interdiction. If you have been arrested or have had property seized related to the alleged possession, sale, or use of psychedelic drugs, contact an experienced criminal defense and forfeiture lawyer like Darryl A. Goldberg for a consultation.