As evidence of the medicinal value of psychedelics grows, advocates and legislators are pushing to decriminalize and eventually legalize these long-used natural substances.
Since February, Cambridge, Somerville, and Northampton have passed resolutions decriminalizing entheogenic plants, a family of natural sources containing certain psychoactive compounds. Examples include peyote (a species of cacti), psychedelic mushrooms (which contain the hallucinogen psilocybin), and ayahuasca.
Oakland, California, did it first: in 2019, the City Council passed a resolution effectively decriminalizing entheogenic plants. In 2020, Oregon voters passed a ballot measure giving the state health authority two years to develop a program where adults can purchase and consume psilocybin products under supervision at a service center.
Though in the U.S., these substances famously grew in popularity in the 1960s and 70s, indigenous cultures across the Americas have used them for remedial and spiritual purposes for hundreds of years.
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