The Portland, Maine City Council last week passed a resolution to deprioritize criminal prosecution for personal use of psychedelic mushrooms,… Read More
The Portland, Maine City Council last week passed a resolution to deprioritize criminal prosecution for personal use of psychedelic mushrooms, Spectrum News reports. The resolution passed 6-3; however, Corporation Counsel Michael Goldman described the resolution as “a statement of the council’s opinion.”
“You’re not directing the city manager to do anything. You’re not directing the chief of police to do anything. It’s a statement of opinion of what the council wants to see in terms of priority of issuance of citations, arrests, prosecutions, those kinds of things.” — Goldman via Spectrum News
During the meeting, Portland Police Chief Mark Dubois described it as a “non-issue.”
“Nobody can recall arresting anybody for any of these things that we’re talking about, ever,” he said.
Councilor Mark Dion, a former Cumberland County Sheriff, was one of the three who voted against the resolution, saying while he supports the use of psychedelics for legitimate medical purposes, he thinks the decision “belongs to the state legislature” and that the term “deprioritization” could be misunderstood.
“This difference of term – deprioritization versus decriminalization – we think we know what that means,” he said. “I can guarantee you, young people out in the community will say, ‘OK, they’ve legalized it. I’m all set in Portland!’ and they’re going to have adverse consequences because of that.”
Councilor April Fournier, chair of the council’s Health & Human Services and Public Safety Committee, sponsored the measure. She said the resolution will send a positive message to people who use psychedelic plants for medical purposes.
“I truly believe in harm reduction and being able to figure out what is everyone’s path to wellness,” she said during the meeting. “…I think it should be up to the individual to really have the ability to consider that.”