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PORT TOWNSEND CITY COUNCIL AND JEFFERSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONER JOINT RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF ENTHEOGENIC PLANTS AND FUNGI PRACTICES, DECLARING THAT THE INVESTIGATION AND ARREST OF INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED WITH THE ADULT USE OF ENTHEOGENIC SUBSTANCES ON THE FEDERAL SCHEDULE 1 LIST BE AMONGST THE LOWEST PRIORITY FOR THE CITY OF PORT TOWNSEND AND JEFFERSON COUNTY

 

WHEREAS, Entheogenic Plants, based on the term “entheogen”, originally conceived by Ott, Ruck, and other colleagues from a working group of anthropologists and ethnobotanists in 1979; and defined herein as the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials deserving reverence and respect from the perspective of the individual and the collective, that can inspire personal and spiritual well-being, can benefit psychological and physical wellness, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature; and

 

WHEREAS, practices with Entheogenic Plants and Fungi have been considered to be sacred to human cultures for thousands of years, working to supplement and enrich human’s connection with nature. To this day, understanding of their applicable use and potential is being augmented by religious/spiritual leaders, practicing mental health professionals, mentors, and healers from around the world, many of whom have been forced underground; and

 

WHEREAS, our society at large is plagued by substance abuse, addiction, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder,  end-of-life anxiety, grief and other mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual ailments. The use of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi has been shown through numerous studies to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these challenges; and

 

WHEREAS, psilocybin is a naturally occurring compound that is native to the Pacific Northwest and appears in over 200 species of fungi all throughout the world and has proven to alleviate depression, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, cluster headaches, end-of-life anxiety for hospice and terminal cancer patients, and reduce prison recidivism; and

 

WHEREAS, according to the Global Drug Survey 2017, psilocybin is the safest of all recreational drugs with only a .2% of people ingesting mushrooms reported seeking medical treatment--whereas the NIH is reporting over 50% increase in alcohol-related ER visits; and

 

WHEREAS, a Johns Hopkins University study on "healthy-normals" found that psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences, which were considered one of the top five most meaningful experiences in a subject's life for over 75% of their subjects within the first year after the study, and found continuing positive life-style changes after a 14-month follow-up; and

 

WHEREAS, Entheogenic plants containing ibogaine, for example, have been shown to alleviate treatment resistant cases of opiate and methamphetamine addiction at significantly higher rates than all other treatments for addiction. In addition, ibogaine is reported to be beneficial for addiction therapy related to specific work-related PTSD encountered by first responders such as EMT, police, and firefighters, as well as military veterans; and 

 

WHEREAS, Entheogenic cacti that contain phenethylamine compounds such as mescaline can be beneficial in healing drug and alcohol addiction and for individual spiritual growth, and have been utilized in sacred initiation and community healing by diverse religious and cultural traditions for millennia and still as religious sacraments in modern times; and 

 

WHEREAS, N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring compound, found within the human body and all other living organisms, that is listed as a Schedule I. Entheogenic plants or combinations of plants, such as ayahuasca, that contain DMT are reported to inspire experiences of mysticism that can be beneficial in treating addiction, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and promoting personal/spiritual growth; and 

 

WHEREAS, psilocybin, ayahuasca, DMT, and mescaline are regarded as non-addictive; and

 

WHEREAS, the following principles, when adhered to, help to ensure safe and responsible use of entheogenic plants and fungi:

1.Entheogens are not for everyone. Knowledgeable clinicians caution that some people should not take entheogenic plants or fungi, including people with a personal or family history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or who are taking certain medications.

 

2.If someone has a serious condition like major depression or PTSD,they would do well to get serious, professional help before using an entheogen and to ask that caregiver’s advice. (Some counselors and therapists are glad to work with a client before and after an entheogenic journey). 

 

3. Unless you have expert guidance, it’s best to start with small amounts, using more only after you become familiar with the material and the terrain.

 

4. Don’t go solo (with nontrivial doses). Have at least one trusted friend

(called a sitter, guide, or facilitator) be with you, sober during the entire journey,

and commit in advance to honor that person’s instructions if he or she tells you to

not do something. Entheogens can amplify the whole range of human emotions,

including anxiety which can sometimes lead to panic. Having a sitter gives you a

certain comfort and mental freedom, and can help keep things safe.

 

5. Reverence reduces risks and can help lead to positive outcomes. In

cultures that have long used entheogenic substances beneficially, that use is

approached with great respect, not haphazardly, and for life-enhancing purpose; and

 

WHEREAS, the Entheogenic Plant practices of certain groups are already explicitly protected in the U.S. under the doctrine of religious freedom -- the Native American Church's use of peyote and the use of ayahuasca by two other churches, a Santo Daime congregation and the Uniao do Vegetal; and 

 

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

 

WHEREAS, Port Townsend/Jefferson County is a resilient community that is characterized by its quirky and out of the box character. Decriminalizing entheogens emphasizes our community values of personal freedom, connection to the natural world, social justice and reform of harmful societal structures/practices, curiosity, creativity, progressive free-thinking, and alternative living (including education, medicine, therapy, and healing). The community already has vast resources of knowledge, experience, and people dedicated to provide support and education to the public about safe and healing use of entheogens.  

 

WHEREAS, Decriminalize Denver has successfully decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms in Denver, CO and Decriminalize Nature has successfully decriminalized all entheogenic plants and fungi in Oakland, CA. 

 

WHEREAS, the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County wishes to declare its desire not to expend City or County resources in any investigation, detention, arrest, or prosecution arising out of alleged violations of state and federal law regarding the use of Entheogenic Plants;

 

THEREFORE BE IT

 

RESOLVED, That the Mayor, City Council, and Board of Commissioners hereby declare that it shall be the policy of the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County that no City or County funds or resources from any department, agency, board, commission, officer or employee of the city or county, including without limitation, Port Townsend Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff Department personnel, to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing criminal penalties for the use and possession of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi by adults; and be it

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution does not authorize or enable any of the following activities: commercial sales or manufacturing of these plants and fungi, possessing or distributing these materials in schools, driving under the influence of these materials; or public disturbance; and be it

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Port Townsend City Council and Jefferson County Board of Commissioners direct  the City Administrator to instruct the City’s state and federal lobbyists to work in support of decriminalizing all Entheogenic Plants and plant-based compounds that are listed on the Federal Controlled Substances Schedule 1; and be it

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Mayor, City Council, and the Board of Commissioners hereby declare that it shall be the policy of the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County that the investigation and arrest of adult persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, and/or possessing Entheogenic Plants and Fungi on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall be amongst the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County