September 29, 2021
For Immediate Release:
Grand Rapids City Commission Votes yes to
Support for Decriminalizing the Use and Possession of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi at the Local, State and Federal Levels
It was incredible to work with Commissioner Reppart and the whole City Commission. We thank them for taking this resolution into consideration and voting to affirm it. We've established some important relationships, and generated lots of conversation on the topic. We appreciate the willingness of the Mayor, City Commission, and City Staff to listen and learn with us and look forward to continuing to learn more together.
Highlights of the resolution:
“WHEREAS, those seeking to improve their health and well-being through the use of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi should have the freedom to explore these healing methods without risk of arrest and prosecution; and.”
“WHEREAS, the municipalities of Oakland, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Ann Arbor, MI; Somerville, MA; Cambridge, MA; Washington, DC; and the state of Oregon have taken efforts to decriminalize some entheogenic plants and fungi; and”
“WHEREAS, enforcement of laws regulating the possession and use of Entheogenic Plant and Fungi has not been a high priority for the City of Grand Rapids with very little public funds directed toward proactive investigation or prosecution of such cases; and”
“WHEREAS, this City Commission supports ongoing low prioritization for regulating the possession and use of Entheogenic Plant and Fungi in the City of Grand Rapids.”
“WHEREAS, decriminalization of minor non-violent offenses has been a recent key component to the City of Grand Rapids legislative priority agenda.”
“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:
The Mayor and City Commission hereby support local, state and federal legislative efforts to decriminalize Entheogenic Plants and Fungi and plant-based compounds that are listed on the Federal Controlled Substances Schedule”.
After the yes vote, Mayor Bliss said, “I am familiar with (Michigan) Senate Bill 631, so after we vote tonight, I’ll be reaching out to our legislators to personally express my support.”
While there is still work to be done, this resolution is a great first step for the city of Grand Rapids and their commitment to rethinking punitive penalties and alternative ways to approach psychological and spiritual health.
The day after the resolution passed, we received this email from someone who couldn’t make the commission meeting. He wrote, “Praying for you guys. So sorry I couldn't make it. I am 50 and the only time since childhood that I have had a time when I wasn't suffering from depression and anxiety was the two times I tried mushrooms. I have been on multiple medications throughout my years and nothing worked like mushrooms did.
I hate that I don't have any access to them and if I did it would be illegal.
Sorry I couldn't make it".
Wow! What a moving testament to how important this campaign is.
Decriminalize Nature Grand Rapids Board
Mary Reed Kelly
For more information, contact Chad Beyer, Co-founder of Decriminalize Nature Grand Rapids, at DecrimNatureGR@gmail.com or visit https://www.decrimnaturegr.org/.