Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed an executive order last week that directs police to deprioritize the enforcement of laws surrounding certain psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca tea, and mescaline.
The executive order states that the investigation and arrest of people planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing or possessing entheogenic, or “psychoactive,” plants should be the “lowest priority” for Minneapolis police.
It also prohibits city resources from being used in any investigation, detention, or arrest arising out of “alleged violations of state and federal law” regarding some psychedelics.
The substances impacted by the order include “the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials and/or their extracted compounds, limited to those containing the following types of compounds: indole amines, tryptamines, and phenethylamines; including, but not limited to, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca tea, mescaline, and iboga, that can benefit psychological and physical wellness and well-being.”
“Regardless of the stigma attached, when you look at the science behind the benefits of entheogens, it all points in one direction,” Mayor 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. That’s the message I hope this executive order sends elsewhere.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara expressed his support for the mayor’s executive order, which does not authorize commercial sales or allow for possession or distribution in schools, while driving, or while carrying a firearm.
Cities such as Seattle, Detroit, Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. have similar policies in place.
“These natural medicines and their use by Indigenous peoples predate any of these laws. Individual liberty over one’s own health and consciousness is essential to a well community, as is the community healing that can occur with these entheogens,” said Jessica Nielson, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.
At the state level, a bipartisan group of legislators sponsored a bill to form a new psychedelic medicine task force that will be charged with providing information and advice to the legislature on potential legalization of these drugs.
Marijuana use will be legal statewide beginning Aug. 1.