Five states also legalize marijuana in continued assault against war on drugs
While the 2020 presidential results remained unclear the morning after Election Day, one thing for certain is that voters overwhelmingly approved a series of measures aimed at the war on drugs, including the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey, Arizona, and Montana, the decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms in Washington, D.C. and the decriminalization of all drugs in Oregon.
Voters in the state of Oregon also voted in favor of Measure 109, which allows for patients 21-and-over to buy, possess, and consume psychedelic drugs at “psilocybin service centers,” under the supervision of trained facilitators, while Measure 110 — which decriminalized personal possession of drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, LSD and MDMA — also overwhelmingly passed with 60 percent of votes in favor; Measure 110 also called for the establishment of a drug addiction treatment program funded by its marijuana tax revenue.
“Today’s victory is a landmark declaration that the time has come to stop criminalizing people for drug use,” Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance that spearheaded the measure, said in a statement.
“Measure 110 is arguably the biggest blow to the war on drugs to date. It shifts the focus where it belongs — on people and public health — and removes one of the most common justifications for law enforcement to harass, arrest, prosecute, incarcerate, and deport people. As we saw with the domino effect of marijuana legalization, we expect this victory to inspire other states to enact their own drug decriminalization policies that prioritize health over punishment.”
Natalie Ginsberg, director of policy and advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), previously told Rolling Stone, “Measure 110 is the first instance of the decriminalization of psychedelic substances MDMA and LSD in the country. MDMA is the psychedelic substance that people are arrested for most in the U.S. — certainly more than the plants, fungi, and cacti in the Decrim Nature initiatives — so for folks interested in psychedelic policy reform, 110 is really the most impactful legislation.”
After the city of Denver previously became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in 2019, Washington D.C. similarly passed Initiative 81 Tuesday night, which decriminalized the cultivation and possession of “entheogenic plants and fungi.” In both Denver and Washington, D.C., it remains illegal to sell psychedelic mushrooms.
With Oregon’s Measure 110, the Oregon Health Authority would have the power to grant and revoke licenses related to psilocybin therapy. Following a two-year implementation plan, the first psilocybin clinics are expected to open by January 2023, Willamette Week reported.
On the marijuana legalization front, voters in New Jersey, Arizona, and red states Montana, South Dakota and Mississippi approved of measures and initiatives to either legalize marijuana entirely or, in the case of Mississippi, approve the establishment of a medical marijuana program. Following the Election Day results, 15 states now have legal weed in some capacity.
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