Salem, Massachusetts Will No Longer Arrest People for Psilocybin

Salem is now ending a witch hunt.

Salem, a city notorious for its 17th century witch trials, is creating a new reputation for itself by ceasing a modern-day witch hunt. As of this month, Salem is ending arrests for psilocybin mushrooms, Psychedelic Spotlight reports. It is now the sixth Massachusetts city to do so, after a 9-0 city council vote supporting the measure. Psilocybin is understood to be perhaps one of the safest drugs out there. Findings published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shared that only 0.2% of magic mushroom users have sought emergency medical care after use. For those who had a lousy experience, it was a negative psychological (a bad trip) that resolved within 24 hours. In addition, you cannot die from a psilocybin physical overdose. (Comparatively, the World Health Organization reports that 3 million deaths yearly result from the destructive use of alcohol, representing 5.3% of all deaths.) 

The passage of the Salem measure comes after the FDA has classified psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” for depression. Salem resident and neuroscientist Miyabe Shields said, “This is a win for science and the neurodivergent community to advance life-saving research on the complex innerworkings of our brains,” Psychedelic Spotlight reports.

As too many people know (according to Columbia University, one in ten Americans have depression), the standard treatment for depression, medicines like SSRIs and SNRIs, only improve symptoms in about 20 out of 100 people, data from the National Library of Medicine shows. Psychedelic options such as psilocybin and ketamine are literal lifesavers for the many folks who do not respond to traditional pharmaceuticals. Additionally, while medicines like SSRIs take several weeks to yield results, psychedelics can reduce depression in a matter of hours. Speaking about the measure, as Psychedelic Spotlight reports, disabled Marine Corp Veteran Michael Botelho, an active organizer with both Bay Staters and New England Veterans for Plant Medicine who served in combat during the Gulf War, shares that: “Through the VA system, I was prescribed over 160 medications, including opiates, to cope with PTSD before finding psilocybin mushrooms. For the first time in nearly 25 years, I have been able to sleep, overcome addiction to opiates, and work again.” Certainly, more New Englanders experiencing depression will feel comfortable using psychedelic treatments now that the risk of arrest is off the table. 

Additionally, research shows that psilocybin has an influential role in the harm reduction movement. A study of 44,000 Americans in the U.S. Journal of Psychopharmacology discovered that psilocybin is associated with a 40% reduced risk of suffering opioid addiction. Data from the CDC shows that opioids were involved in 68,630 overdose deaths in 2020 (74.8% of all drug overdose deaths). This powerful property of psilocybin gained the Salem measure a surprising supporter. You don’t have to turn off N.W.A.’s “Fuck The Police,” but know that Lucas Miller, the Chief of Police for the City, endorsed the measure before the city’s final vote. “The indications that psilocybin could be helpful for opiate addiction is something that should not be ignored. We lose about 20 people in Salem a year to opioid overdose,” Miller says, Psychedelic Spotlight reports.

Salem may be the sixth Massachusetts city to end arrests for psilocybin mushrooms, but it won’t be the last. 

The grassroots group who deserves credit for successfully implementing the campaign, which was years in the making, Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, has partnered with Somerville, Cambridge, Northampton, Easthampton, and Amherst to pass similar measures. In addition, the organization is currently pushing state legislation, which includes An Act Relative to Plant Medicine, which would legalize home growing and sharing of psilocybin and related plants. 

1 comment
  1. 🍄🌟 What an incredible step forward for Salem! 🎉 This city, known for its historical witch trials, is now making waves by putting an end to a modern-day witch hunt. It’s fantastic to see Salem join the ranks of other Massachusetts cities and embrace the potential benefits of psilocybin mushrooms. 🙌

    The article highlights some fascinating facts about psilocybin’s safety and therapeutic potential. With only 0.2% of magic mushroom users requiring emergency medical care, it’s clear that the risks are minimal. And let’s not forget that psilocybin doesn’t cause physical overdoses! 🙅‍♂️(Take that, alcohol! 🍺)

    Moreover, the FDA’s classification of psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” for depression underscores its potential to revolutionize mental health treatment. For individuals who haven’t found relief through traditional pharmaceuticals, psychedelic options like psilocybin and ketamine can be true lifesavers. 💚🌈

    It’s heartwarming to hear personal stories like Michael Botelho’s, a disabled Marine Corps Veteran who found hope and healing through psilocybin mushrooms. After years of struggling with PTSD and being prescribed countless medications, he finally experienced profound improvements in his life. Stories like these show the transformative power of psychedelics. 💪🙏

    Additionally, the harm reduction aspect of psilocybin cannot be ignored. The reduction in opioid addiction risk by 40% is staggering, considering the devastating impact opioids have had on countless lives. Psilocybin’s potential in addressing this crisis is crucial, and even the Chief of Police, Lucas Miller, recognized its value in combating addiction. 🚔💙

    Kudos to Salem for taking this important step, and hats off to Bay Staters for Natural Medicine for their tireless efforts in making this happen. Together, they are paving the way for a future where psilocybin and other plant medicines are widely recognized and accessible. 🌱✨

    I have no doubt that this positive momentum will continue, with more cities and states following suit. Salem’s decision is a beacon of hope for the neurodivergent community and scientific research alike. Let’s keep spreading awareness, fostering understanding, and embracing the potential of these natural remedies. 🌍💫

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