Discover more from Psychedelic Week
Portland Maine Partially Decriminalizes Psychedelics
In a 6-3 vote, Portland City Council approves resolution to deprioritize enforcement of criminal penalties associated with natural medicines
This afternoon, Psychedelic Week reported that Bay Staters for Natural Medicine (“Bay Staters”) was working with Decriminalize Maine, a newly formed nonprofit, and New England Veterans for Plant Medicine to help decriminalize naturally occurring psychedelics in Portland, Maine.
Last month, the Health and Human Services and Public Safety Committee of the Portland City Council unanimously passed a resolution, modeled on those adopted in six Massachusetts cities to deprioritize the enforcement of criminal penalties associated with psychedelics.
Tonight, at approximately 7:15 pm Eastern, the full Portland City Council adopted the resolution to partially decriminalize psychedelics in a 6-3 vote.
The resolution formalizes the City Council’s view that enforcing criminal penalties associated with psychedelics should not be prioritized. The approval makes Portland the first city in Maine to pass such a resolution.
Bay Staters and a growing coalition of New England communities previously worked with lawmakers in six Massachusetts communities to pass similar resolutions.
Prior to the vote this evening, Portland City Councilor Andrew Zarro attempted to delay the vote. He asked the Council whether it might prefer to instead recommend to the state legislature that it take up the issue of psychedelic decriminalization.
Councilor April Fournier, a member of the committee that approved the resolution last month, pushed back on Zarro’s recommendation. She urged the Council to respect the committee’s work and observed that the state legislature appeared uninterested in taking up the matter.
Shortly thereafter, the Council adopted the resolution in the 6-3 vote.
*The views expressed on Psychedelic Week do not represent the views of Harvard University, POPLAR at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, Florida State University, or the Florida State University College of Law. Psychedelic Week is an independent project unaffiliated with these programs and institutions.
Mason Marks, MD, JD is the Florida Bar Health Law Section Professor at the Florida State University College of Law. He is the senior fellow and project lead of the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR) at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School and an affiliated fellowat the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Marks teaches drug law, psychedelic law, constitutional law, and administrative law. Before moving to Florida, he served on the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board where he chaired its Licensing Subcommittee. Marks has drafted drug policies for state and local lawmakers. His forthcoming book on psychedelic law and politics will be published by Yale University Press. He tweets at @MasonMarksMD and @PsychedelicWeek.