Psychedelics Activists In Massachusetts Push For Vote On Decriminalization

Those in favor of psychedelics legalization in Massachusetts are making strides in the right direction.  Massachusetts activists are making progress toward putting the decriminalization of psychedelics on the ballot.  The aim is to reform both state and local laws.  The campaign to decriminalize psychedelics started with a signature drive earlier this month.   Organized by the Bay Staters for National Medicine, the signature campaign has a chance to put the potential policy alteration before the voters of Worcester.

Progress On The MA Psychedelics Front

The signature collection effort comes on the heels of Worcester’s approval of a resolution that prompts the city manager to perform a study regarding the advantages of performing arrests for growing and transmitting psychedelic plants such as psilocybin mushrooms.  The state’s activists are also implementing a strategy that will have the MA residents pressure lawmakers to file entheogenic substance legislation that sets the stage for the substances’ use in a therapeutic context.  Such a change would be fantastic news for those interested in psychedelics investing.

The initiative in Worcester zeroes in on psychedelics yet there is also a push for the decriminalization of illegal drugs of other sorts.  The hope is that the Worcester City Council takes action in 2022.  If action is not taken by the year’s end, the expectation is that the activists will have the 16,000 signatures necessary by this time next year so the issue can be transitioned to the November ballot of 2022.

Details Of The Initiative

Those who have taken a close look at the wording of the ballot initiative in Worcester have found it is written so that no governmental body within the city’s limits, including law enforcement, can use funding to file criminal charges against individuals age 18+ for having or sharing five grams of less of a controlled substance.  

There is also highly specific language in the initiative pertaining to psychedelic substances ranging from MDMA to DMT, psilocybin and mescaline.  The language states local Worcester agencies would not be able to prosecute individuals who have or cultivate upwards of 15 grams of each of these substances including ibogaine.  Furthermore, the measure will provide protection for individuals against criminal charges for having needles, syringes, testing strips and pipes.

Massachusetts Is Becoming More Psychedelic-Friendly

If Worcester passes the initiative described above into law, it will join Northampton, Easthampton, Cambridge and Somerville where similar policies have been passed into law.  Furthermore, Massachusetts psychedelics activists have also stated they will pursue psychedelics reform initiatives in Amherst to boot.  

The hope is that momentum will build for a statewide decriminalization effort.  There is also some talk that BSNM will make use of an interesting legislative strategy in which citizens compel legislators to file psychedelic-related legislation by request.  Such a process can be triggered even though the sponsor might not support the policy in question.  

At the moment, BSNM representatives state they have 400 or so individuals who have already signed up for “by request” bill filings that would set the stage for regulated access to psychedelics to be used in the context of therapeutic purposes.

Additional Changes Are On The Horizon

If the legislation passes into law, it would also push for criminal justice reform with the extension of expungement policies along with the generation of a task force.  The purpose of the task force would be recommending policies that help individuals negatively impacted by the criminalization of psychedelics and the expansion of mental health support programs.

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