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Atlanta Is Considering The Decriminalization Of Magic Mushrooms And Other Psychedelics

The growing demand for better treatments for mental health conditions is taking the discussion to the public sphere often than not. 

Benzinga · 09/13/2022 20:34

The growing demand for better treatments for mental health conditions is taking the discussion to the public sphere often than not. 

With San Francisco’s final call to decriminalize psychedelics last week, it is now Atlanta’s turn. On September 12, the City Council Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee hosted a hearing to go through a resolution recently filed by city council member Liliana Bakhtiari aiming to follow San Franciscos steps.

The discussion also seems to be aligned with what is happening on a state level, as Georgia’s House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee recently heard testimonies from veterans regarding the use of psilocybin to treat PTSD. The state is considering to fund scientific research to further understand the substance’s potential.

The new bill would advise police to deprioritize enforcing law on people carrying psychedelic mushrooms, or in other words, that no city funds would be used to investigate reports on individuals involved in the personal use, growth or possession of entheogenic plants, fungi, spores or plant compounds.

The proposed legislation states that entheogenic substances promote “psychological and physical wellness” and “support and enhance religious and spiritual practices,” while it makes the important distinction —similarly to other current psychedelics decriminalization bills— of separating commercial sales with medicinal use. The prior would not be allowed under the new law. 

Speaking at the hearing, the bill's advocates stated that they are part of a national movement to normalize the use of magic mushrooms and other plants as treatments for mental illness. One of them gave her personal testimony on the therapeutic benefits of these substances for treating anxiety and depression. 

The committee members didn’t yet decide to advance on the measure but did vote unanimously to hold it for further consideration and eventually keep discussing it in a future work session.

Photo by Joey Kyber on Unsplash.