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Portland City Council passes a resolution in support of decriminalizing psychedelic fungi

The Portland City Council on Monday passed a resolution voicing support for decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi.

The resolution suggests that prosecuting someone for using and cultivating psychedelic plants should be the lowest priority for law enforcement. Aaron Parker is interim director for the group Decriminalize Maine and helped develop the policy. He says the council would need to pass a city ordinance to make decriminalization enforceable.

"The resolution I don't think really adequately decriminalizes anything in Portland. While we do want to protect people from potential criminal penalties, we are also looking to reduce the stigma around these substances which is an important part of harm reduction for this type of material," he said.

Maine lawmakers will debate a similar bill in January which would decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms as well as create a regulated framework for legalization.

Corrected: October 5, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT
An earlier version stated the state bill in January would decriminalize psychedelic plants and fungi. The bill actually only applies solely to psilocybin mushrooms.
Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.

Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.