On September 21, 2020, Ann Arbor’s City Council unanimously adopted a resolution declaring the use, growth, possession, and distribution of entheogenic plants (i.e., natural psychedelics) to be “the lowest law enforcement priority for the City of Ann Arbor.” The Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney agrees with and supports the City Council resolution. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Prosecutor’s Office not to prosecute entheogenic plant use, growth, and possession across Washtenaw County
As an initial matter, with entheogenic plants functionally decriminalized in Washtenaw County’s largest city, it would be capricious to continue pursuing entheogenic-related charges originating in other parts of the county. More fundamentally, though, prosecuting entheogenic-plant use or possession is not in the interest of justice. Naturally occurring entheogenic plants are not generally addictive, nor do they present a significant risk of a fatal overdose. Entheogenic plants, moreover, are not associated with violent behavior. Just the opposite: the use of psilocybin mushrooms has been associated with reduced partner violence in men. And crucially, Ann Arbor is not the first municipality to experiment with the decriminalization of entheogenic plants. In Denver (CO), Oakland (CA), and Santa Cruz (CA), entheogenic plants have been effectively decriminalized—without any reported negative consequences.
The Prosecutor’s Office will, however, continue to prosecute cases involving operating a motor vehicle under the influence of entheogenic plants.