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Just because something is the law does not mean that it is moral, and just because something breaks the law does not mean it is inherently immoral or unethical. Terrible things have previously been legal, while pushing back against institutional violence has often violated laws. What is legal and what is not is more a reflection of attitudes within a culture and its recent history.
From the prohibition of alcohol to laws against the use of recreational drugs and even laws regarding consensual sexual conduct, such as sodomy laws, lawmakers and citizens in the United States have long tried to control what other people do with their time and their bodies.
Now, such laws and attempts are losing power and popular support. The legalization of cannabis is a promising sign, as is the current momentum for the decriminalization of psychedelics and entheogenic plants and fungi.
Santa Cruz is on its way to becoming the next municipality to change its policies on natural psychedelic. On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the idea of decriminalizing natural psychedelics passed a public hearing. That means that the City Council could soon hear a recommendation to change local law enforcement priorities. Although the city won’t actually legalize psychedelics plants or fungi, it will ask that police and other city officials make the enforcement of prohibition the lowest priority. They will potentially vote as soon as December 3rd on the issue.
The momentum decriminalization has found is encouraging. If only our society could only invest as much in schools and mental health support as we did in policing the population for what are effectively consensual crimes without victims, we would likely see a great reduction and overall crime, to say nothing of the potential social and scientific gains that could result. When you consider the mental health and therapeutic uses of psychedelic substances, it seems obvious that the potential benefits of legalizing access outweigh any theoretical risks.
For previous Ladybud coverage about psychedelics, click here.