Ann Arbor made national headlines recently for its decision to decriminalize certain psychedelic plants and fungi, including “magic mushrooms.” The move places Ann Arbor alongside just a handful of other U.S. cities – including Denver, Oakland and Santa Cruz – that have relaxed enforcement rules for entheogenic substances.
Be wary, however, of overstating this new policy’s impact. Magic mushrooms have not been legalized, and you could still find yourself facing criminal allegations tied to these substances.
The “lowest law enforcement priority”
The actions taken by the Ann Arbor City Council did not legalize psychedelics in any way. Instead, the resolution says investigating and arresting any individual for crimes related to entheogenic plants and fungi is the “lowest law enforcement priority,” according to Michigan Live.
This policy applies to:
The resolution also asks the Washtenaw County district attorney to halt any prosecutions against anyone involving these substances.
However, this does not mean you can partake in any of the above activities without fear of criminal consequences.
You can still be charged and prosecuted
Ann Arbor’s city council members included a clear reminder: The resolution does not endorse or authorize any behaviors that would run afoul of the law. This is not a free pass to act with impunity.
Commercial sales and manufacturing of psychedelic plants and fungi remain unlawful. Possessing or distributing these substances in schools, driving under the influence, or causing a public disturbance are similarly illegal.
Maybe more importantly, these types of psychedelics remain prohibited under state and federal law, meaning you could still face criminal charges. If suspected illegal activity threatens public safety, Ann Arbor police continue to have leeway to enforce the law.
Individuals could still find themselves facing overwhelming criminal charges and the prospect of prison time. When this happens, enlisting a strong legal defense may be the best response.