Olympia City Council member and Community Livability and Public Safety Committee chair Dontae Payne is mulling having a comprehensive discussion about psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs in his committee.
“If the council and this committee are interested in exploring…that is something that I would see as something that would come through this committee,” Payne announced during the committee meeting on Monday, April 25.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark Gilman first brought up the topic of psilocybin mushrooms in a recent city council meeting.
Gilman said there is a movement in the community to make non-commercial activity on psychedelic mushrooms or other naturally-grown psychedelics as an alternative treatment for opioid addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD treatment and decriminalize activities relating to it.
Gilman informed the city council members that Seattle and Port Townsend recently passed ordinances decriminalizing naturally-occurring psychedelics and making entheogen-related (use of psychoactive plants or fungi) activities the lowest priority for enforcement and prosecution.
“The idea is that these naturally-occurring substances can be ingested in pretty large quantities and not kill the person,” Gilman said, adding the same is also used with military veterans for PTSD treatment.
They're not cut with amphetamines or speed that gives all the problems we have with street drugs. So organizations are using them as an alternative path towards recovery from opioid addiction,” added the mayor pro tem.
“The use is medically supervised with a nurse and mental health professionals to assist somebody in using the stuff,” Gilman added.
Payne said he has many questions on the subject. “For example, how necessary and relevant is it for us to do something like this in the city? How many of our arrests on an annual basis relating to this?”
Overriding federal and state regulations
Gilman noted that the federal government still considers psychedelic mushrooms – others call them magic mushrooms – as a Class 1 on the same level as narcotics and heroin. “[the advocates ask] are there ways we could pave the way for people to safely use this and not risk being whisked away to jail.”
The Washington State Senate discussed a bill that would legalize some uses of psilocybin during their sessions earlier this year. The bill stalled in committee.
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