Vermont state Rep. Brian Cina (P) has introduced legislation that would decriminalize three psychedelic substances — psilocybin, ayahuasca, and peyote — as well as kratom throughout the state. First reported by Marijuana Moment, the legislation would specifically make exemptions for the substances in Vermont’s controlled substances list.
“Plants, especially plant medicines, should be accessible to people. Use of plant medicine should be considered a health care issue, not a criminal issue.” — Cina, via Marijuana Moment
It’s still unknown whether the bill poses much chance in the state legislature, but even its introduction will spur hope among advocates for psychedelic policy reforms, who lately have spearheaded efforts in dozens of local communities across the U.S.
Vermont’s latest bid, however, is unique because it originated with lawmakers, not activists — similarly, Vermont in 2018 became the first state to end cannabis prohibition by legislative action, not by an act of voters. While that action ultimately ended cannabis prohibition, however, it did not establish a state-legal cannabis marketplace, although lawmakers appear poised to tackle that issue during the coming session.
Last year, voters in Denver, Colorado chose to decriminalize psilocybin; later, the city council in Oakland, California voted unanimously to decriminalize psychedelics including psilocybin and ayahuasca.
Activists in California and Oregon, meanwhile, have already launched efforts to put the issue of statewide reforms on the ballots for 2020.