Virginia Decriminalization

Virginia Lawmakers Support Campaign to Decriminalize Psychedelics

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Virginia may be gearing up to decriminalize psychedelics, as two state lawmakers support the efforts led by the local chapter of a major psychedelic advocacy organization.

Decriminalize Nature Virginia is spearheading a statewide campaign, pushing the state government to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi in the Commonwealth.

As more research continues to emerge backing up the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic substances, Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D) and Del. Dawn Adams (D) participated in a webinar hosted by Decriminalize Nature on December 9. The pair spoke on how plant medicine can help to address treatment-resistant depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

According to Marijuana Moment Hashmi told the attendees that,“One thing that has intrigued me in the process of learning myself is the kind of tremendous research that is available that demonstrates that these particular plant based medicines have the capacity to heal, to help and assist people in ways that other medicines often cannot do.” 

In January of this year, a bill to decriminalize possession of all drugs was also introduced in the Virginia General Assembly by Del. Sally Hudson (D). The bill is under consideration while the Virginia State Crime Commission is looking into the scheme for “the possession of controlled substances, including decriminalization of the possession of such substances.”

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Decriminalize Nature is leading a similar state-wide psychedelic decriminalization movement in Michigan. Senate Bill 631, introduced by state Sen. Jeff Irwin, is asking to end criminal penalties on the possession of psychedelics including psilocybin and mescaline.

At the municipal level, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is likely to decriminalize naturally-occuring entheogens this month. Also led by a local Decrimalize Nature group, the resolution is focused on bringing respite to combat veterans.

Colorado Springs is home to over 53,000 veterans, a demographic recognized to be more broadly at risk for mental health issues that include addiction, suicidality, and PTSD.

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