Entheofest: Michigan's Push to Decriminalize Psychedelic Plants

September 11th, 2023 Events & Conferences
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Nestled in the heart of the University of Michigan's campus lies The Diag, an iconic locale that has seen countless gatherings and events over the years. One such event that it's most famously associated with is Ann Arbor's renowned Hash Bash. Since 1972, this sought-after event has been a focal point for those advocating and pushing for reforms in marijuana laws, both at the local and broader levels.

Today, change is once again brewing at The Diag, but this time, the spotlight isn't solely on cannabis. Enter the world of psychedelics.

Introducing Entheofest

Now in its third year, Entheofest champions the cause of decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi throughout Michigan. This isn't just a sudden movement; the seeds were sown in 2020 when the Ann Arbor City Commission, in a unanimous decision, chose to decriminalize entheogenic plants at the city level. This landmark decision, recognized by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office, means that within the entire Washtenaw County, there won't be any prosecutions related to the use, growth, or possession of these plants. However, it's essential to note that those found operating vehicles under the influence will face legal consequences.

Delving into the World of Entheogens

But what exactly are entheogens? A term that translates to "creating the divine within", entheogens primarily refer to hallucinogenic plants and fungi. This term was conceptualized in the 1950s as an effort to offer a more neutral, positive spin to the word 'psychedelic'. In essence, entheogens are natural substances offering transformative, spiritual experiences. While the current discourse often revolves around mushrooms rich in compounds like psilocybin and psilocin, the entheogenic family includes others such as peyote, ayahuasca, and iboga.

Reports from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office highlight that entheogenic plants typically don't lead to addiction and have a minimal risk of fatal overdoses. Contrary to what some might believe, they aren't linked to violent behaviors. In fact, some studies indicate their association with reduced incidents of partner violence among men. And it's not just Ann Arbor that's open to these plants. Places like Denver, Colorado, as well as Oakland and Santa Cruz in California, have also decriminalized them.

Mark Your Calendars for Entheofest

If you're eager to learn more and engage in insightful discussions, the third Entheofest event is right around the corner. Scheduled to be held on Sunday, September 17th, from 1:11 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., The Diag on U of M's campus will be buzzing with enthusiasts, advocates, and the curious.

Meet the Speakers

This year's Entheofest promises a rich tapestry of voices. Participants will get to hear from individuals deeply entrenched in the world of psychedelics and hallucinogens. Among them are Jim Salame, the Rev. Mariela Perez Simon, and Julie Baron, who wears multiple hats as the co-founder of Decriminalize Nature Michigan, president of the Michigan Psychedelic Society, and founder/executive director of Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Ann Arbor will also be gracing the event with her insights.

For more in-depth information and updates directly from the source, visit the official Entheofest website: https://entheofest.org

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