Mayor of Minneapolis Issues Executive Order Making Psychedelics The City’s ‘Lowest Law Enforcement Priority’
Mayor of Minneapolis Issues Executive Order Making Psychedelics The City’s ‘Lowest Law Enforcement Priority’

The mayor of Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey (D), has signed an executive order that makes the possession, use, and cultivation of psychedelics the lowest priority for law enforcement in the city. This order also prohibits the use of local resources to support federal and state efforts against these substances.

According to the order, “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 Minneapolis.”

According to an article by David Orrick in the Star Tribune, Minneapolis has issued an executive order to align their laws with other cities and states such as Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco. The order has received support from the city’s police chief, Brian O’Hara. It should be noted that this action is not a complete decriminalization, but is a small step towards it.

Read also: Psychedelic Legalization vs. Decriminalization: What’s the Difference?

The executive order notes that “the use of Entheogenic Plants” can be used as a tool to address “chronic depression, severe anxiety, problematic substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, end-of-life anxiety, grief, intergenerational trauma, and other physical and mental conditions are present in our City.”

The chief of police has announced he will follow the direction of the mayor of Minneapolis who recently signed an order stating that substances like psilocybin should not be treated as criminalized.

Two months ago, Governor Tim Walz signed a bill that included setting up a task force to prepare for the possible legalization of psychedelics. A local executive order has been issued with similar language to other cities in the U.S., which means that enforcing laws against substances like psychedelics will not be a priority. This is because there is growing interest in the therapeutic potential of these substances for serious mental health conditions such as depression and addiction.

This is the first time that a mayor has implemented the reform without consulting or seeking approval from other officials or parties involved. “Regardless of the stigma attached, when you look at the science behind the benefits of entheogens, it all points in one direction,” Frey said in a press release. “Experts are telling us that these plants help people, and that’s the business we should be in—helping people.”

“With a rise in deaths of despair in our city, and in our society, the data is showing that these plants can help be a remedy,” he said. “That’s the message I hope this executive order sends elsewhere.”

The executive order includes various types of psychedelics such as ”indole amines, tryptamines, and phenethylamines; including, but not limited to, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca tea, mescaline, and iboga.” The order, however, does not include peyote in order to show respect for the Native American Church’s use of this sacred plant medicine.

The directive recognizes that several cities in the United States, such as Oakland, Detroit, Washington D.C., Seattle, and San Francisco, have already implemented this measure.

The directive does not forbid prosecutorial discretion or legalize any illegal activities related to Entheogenic Plants. Additionally, it does not allow or apply to the enforcement or prosecution of activities such as selling or making these plants for commercial use, having or distributing them in schools, driving or operating a vehicle while under their influence, possessing weapons while under their influence, or causing any public disturbance. Some law enforcement officials in other places have opposed local decriminalization policies, the chief of Minneapolis Police Department has voiced support for the mayor’s decision.

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