In a bold move, Jacob Frey, the Mayor of Minneapolis, has issued an executive order that effectively relegates the enforcement of laws related to psychedelic substances to the bottom of the city’s law enforcement priority list. This decision, which comes amidst a growing national conversation about drug policy reform, could have significant implications for the city and its residents.
Mayor Frey’s executive order doesn’t decriminalize these substances, but it does signal a shift in how the city’s law enforcement agencies will handle them. Instead of focusing their resources on prosecuting psychedelic users, they will now prioritize other issues. This could potentially free up resources for tackling more pressing problems, such as violent crime and other public safety issues. The move has been met with mixed reactions.
“Regardless of the stigma attached, when you look at the science behind the benefits of entheogens, it all points in one direction,” Frey said in a press release. “Experts are telling us that these plants help people, and that’s the business we should be in—helping people.”
Advocates for drug policy reform see it as a step in the right direction, arguing that it could help to reduce the harm caused by the criminalization of drug use. Critics, however, worry that it could lead to an increase in drug use and associated problems. It’s important to note that this is a local policy change and doesn’t affect the status of psychedelics under federal law. However, it does add to the growing momentum for drug policy reform across the United States. Other cities, such as Denver and Oakland, have already enacted similar measures, and it will be interesting to see if more follow suit in the wake of Minneapolis’ decision. The impact of this policy shift will likely be closely watched by policymakers, researchers, and advocates on both sides of the drug policy debate. As Minneapolis navigates this new terrain, the outcomes could provide valuable insights for other cities considering similar changes.