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File #: 20-1389    Version: Name: 9/21/20 Resolution Decriminalizing Entheogenic Plants
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 9/21/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 9/21/2020 Final action: 9/21/2020
Enactment date: 9/21/2020 Enactment #: R-20-370
Title: Resolution Declaring that the Investigation and Arrest of Individuals Involved with the Personal Use, Growth and Possession of Entheogenic Plants, Including Those Scheduled at State and Federal Levels, be the Lowest Priority for the City of Ann Arbor
Sponsors: Anne Bannister, Jeff Hayner, Ali Ramlawi, Kathy Griswold
Attachments: 1. FinalResolution-9-4-2020.pdf


Resolution Declaring that the Investigation and Arrest of Individuals Involved with the Personal Use, Growth and Possession of Entheogenic Plants, Including Those Scheduled at State and Federal Levels, be the Lowest Priority for the City of Ann Arbor


Sponsored by:  Councilmembers Bannister, Hayner, Ramlawi, and Griswold


Whereas, Entheogenic Plants, defined herein as 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; that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature;


Whereas, Substance abuse, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress symptoms, chronic depression, severe anxiety, end-of-life anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions are present in our community;


Whereas, The use of Entheogenic Plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth1, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions;


Whereas, Practices with Entheogenic Plants have long existed and have been considered to be sacred to human cultures and interrelationships with nature for thousands of years;


Whereas, Individuals seeking to improve their health and well-being through the use of Entheogenic Plants fear arrest and prosecution due to current legal prohibitions;


Whereas, The City of Ann Arbor currently has many other priorities for the use of its funds, staff, and law enforcement resources;


Whereas, The United Nations considers Entheogenic Plant material used for ritual purposes as excluded from Schedule 1 substances;


Whereas, The Entheogenic Plant practices of certain groups are already explicitly protected in the U.S. under the principle of religious freedom;


Whearas, Entheogenic plants such as Ibogaine have been shown to alleviate treatment resistant cases of opiate and methamphetamine addiction at higher rates than other treatment;


Whereas, Entheogenic Plants or combinations of plants such as Ayahuasca contain Dimethyltryptamine (a naturally occurring compound in the human body) that can be beneficial in treating addiction, depression, and in catalyzing profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth ;


Whereas, Entheogenic plants such as cacti that contain phenethylamine compounds (such as mescaline), can be beneficial in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction and for individual spiritual growth1 , and have been utilized in sacred initiation and community healing by diverse religious and cultural traditions for millennia and continue to be used for healing and as religious sacraments in modern times ; and


Whereas, Psilocybin, naturally occurring in Entheogenic mushrooms, can alleviate end-of-life anxiety for hospice and terminal cancer patients, can reduce prison recidivism, can effectively treat substance abuse , depression, and cluster headaches (a Johns Hopkins University study on "healthy-normals," found that Entheogenic plants can occasion mystical-type experiences, which were considered one of the top five most meaningful experiences in a subject's life, and positive lifestyle changes continued in a 14-month follow-up);


RESOLVED, That the Mayor and City Council hereby declare that it shall be the policy of the City of Ann Arbor that 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 Ann Arbor;


RESOLVED, That the Mayor and City Council call upon the Washtenaw County Prosecutor to cease prosecution of persons involved in the use of Entheogenic Plants or plant-based compounds designated by the Federal Controlled Substance Act;


RESOLVED, That this resolution does not authorize or enable the commission of any crimes;


RESOLVED: That any significant violation of state or federal law, or any use of Entheogenic Plants that poses a threat to the public health, safety and welfare, may result in law enforcement involvement by the City of Ann Arbor; and be it


RESOLVED: That if any provision of this resolution is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to any statute, regulation, or judicial decision, so that its applicability to any agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this resolution and its applicability to any other agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected.


As Amended and Approved by Ann Arbor City Council on September 21, 2020