Record #: R2019-735   
Type: Resolution Status: Failed to Pass
Intro date: 10/16/2019 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Health and Human Relations
Final action: 5/24/2023
Title: Expression of support for adult use of Entheogenic Plants and call for hearing(s) to discuss findings from Department of Public Health on feasibility of use of Entheogenic Plants and its plant compounds as alternative treatment options
Sponsors: Hopkins, Brian
Topic: CITY COUNCIL - Miscellaneous, - COMMITTEE/PUBLIC HEARINGS - Committee on Health and Human Relations
Attachments: 1. R2019-735.pdf
Related files: R2023-766

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OCTOBER 16, 2019




A Resolution supporting Entheogenic Plant practice, declaring that the investigation and arrest of individuals involved with the Adult Use of Entheogenic Plants on the Federal Schedule l1 List be amongst the lowest priority for the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, and ordering a hearing to be held in committee to study and advise guidelines and resources for non-pharmacological treatment options in Chicago.


WHEREAS, Entheogenic Plants, based on the term "entheogen," originally conceived by Ott, Ruck, and other colleagues from a working group of anthropologists and ethnobotanists in 1979; and defined herein as 'the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials deserving reverence and respect from the perspective ofthe individual and the collective, that can inspire personal and spiritual well-being1, can benefit psychological" and physical wellness"1, and can re-establish human's inalienable and direct relationship to nature; and


WHEREAS, substance abuse,v, addition, recidivismv, trauma, post-traumatic stress symptoms, chronic depression, severe anxietyvi, end-of-life anxiety, grief", diabetesVM1, cluster headaches'", and other conditions plaguing our community and that the use of Entheogenic Plants have been shown to be beneficial to the health and the well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these afflictions via scientific and clinical studies and within continuing traditional practices, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth; and


WHEREAS, practices with Entheogenic Plants have long existed and have been considered to be sacred to human cultures and human interrelationships with nature for thousands of years", and continue to be enhanced and improved to this day by religious and spiritual leaders, practicing professionals, mentors, and healers throughout the world, many of whom have been forced underground; and


WHEREAS, seeking to improve their health and well-being through the use of Entheogenic Plants use them in fear of arrest and prosecution; and


WHEREAS, the Entheogenic Plant practices of certain groups are already explicitly protected in the U.S. underthe doctrine of religious freedom- the Native American Church's use of peyote and the use of ayahuasca by two other churches, a Santo Daime congregation and the Uniao do Vegetal; and


WHEREAS, the United Nations considers Entheogenic Plant material used for ritual purposes as excluded from Schedule 1 substances; and

WHEREAS, Entheogenic Plants containing ibogaine, for example, have been shown to alleviate treatment-resistance causes of opiate and methamphetamine addition at a significantly higher


1 Refers to plants and natural sources (as defined herein), such as mushrooms, cacti, iboga-containing plants, and/or extracted combinations of plants similar to Ayahuasca; and limited to those containing the following types of compounds: indole amines, tryptamines, phenethylamines.



rates than all other treatments for addiction"'. In addition, ibogaine is reported to be beneficial for addiction therapy related to specific work-related PTSD encountered by first responders, such as EMT, police, and firefighters, as well as military veterans; and


WHEREAS, Ibogaine is known as an addiction interrupter, which addresses both psycho-emotional mental states, as well as the physical cravings and withdrawals which often inhibit the recovery process.


WHEREAS, the opiod crisis"" is a national concern with an increasing rise in opioid overdose deaths from prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opiods like fentanyl. In 2017, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 6 times higher than in 1999, with an average of 130 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose; and


WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced more than $ 1.8 billion in funding to states to combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and supporting near real-time data on the drug overdose crisis"1"; and


WHEREAS, The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) advocates for science driven solutions and new treatments that can support opioid use disorder. However, NIDA neglects to mention ibogaine on their list of effective medications. Ibogaine has a significantly higher success rate than other available treatments and demonstrates efficacy after a single dose, in contrast to long-term treatments such as methadone; and


WHEREAS, Entheogenic Plants or combinations of plants such as Ayahuasca that contain forms of DMT, a naturally occurring compound in the human body that is listed as a Schedule 1 substance, can lead to experiences that are reported as mystical or experientially similar to near-death experiences"lv and that are or can be demonstrably beneficial in treating addiction"v, depressionxvl, PTSD"V", and in catalyzing profound experiences of personal"™1 and spiritual growth"1X; and


WHEREAS, Entheogenic cacti that contain phenethylamine compounds such as mescaline can be beneficial in healing drug and alcohol addiction"" and for individual spiritual growth""1, and have been utilized in sacred initiation and community healing by diverse religious and cultural traditions for millennia and continuing use as religious sacraments in modern times; and


WHEREAS, psilocybin, naturally occurring in Entheogenic mushrooms, can alleviate end-of-life anxiety for hospice and terminal cancer patients""", can reduce prison recidivism""1", and can effectively treat substance abuse, depression""lv, and cluster headachesxxv; and


WHEREAS, a Johns Hopkins University study on "healthy normal" found that psilocybin can on occasion mystical-type experiences in a subject's life for over 75% of their subjects within the first year after the study, and also found continuing positive life-style changes after a 14-month follow-up; and



WHEREAS, the Cities of Denver and Oakland have since passed legislation that establishes a framework to decriminalize Adult Use of Entheogenic Plants on the Federal Schedule 1 List by ordering cessation of expenditures of city resources towards investigations, detentions, arrests, and/or prosecutions related to any violations of state and/or federal law regarding the use of Entheogenic Plants; NOW THEREFORE


BE IT RESOLVED, That the Mayor and members of the Chicago City Council, hereby declare that it shall be the policy of the city of Chicago that no department, agency, board, commission, officer, employee, or any other individual representing the City, including without limitation, the Chicago Police Department and its personnel, shall use ANY funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of laws imposing any penalties for the use and possession of Entheogenic Plants for Adult Use; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all city employees who lobby at the city, county, state, and/or federal level, be instructed to work in support of efforts to decriminalize Entheogenic Plants and plant-based compounds that are listed on the Federal Controlled Substances Schedule 1 List; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and members ofthe Chicago City Council hereby declare that it shall be the policy of the City of Chicago that investigation and arrest of adult persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, and/or possessing Entheogenic Plants or plant compounds on the Federal Controlled Substances Schedule 1 List shall be amongst the lowest level of Chicago Police Department law enforcement priorities; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and members ofthe Chicago City Council call upon the Cook County States' Attorney and the Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court to cease prosecution of persons involved in the use of Entheogenic Plants or plant-based compounds on the Federal Controlled Substances Schedule 1 List; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) be ordered to review the end note research material in this resolution, and study the feasibility of the use of Entheogenic Plant and such plant compounds noted in this resolution as alternative treatment options. The CDPH shall not take the end notes provided in this resolution to be comprehensive to the scope of consideration for this resolution and its declarative intent. The report should be prepared within 90 days of the passage and publication of this resolution, at which time the Committee on Health and Human Relations shall hold a hearing to discuss the findings ofthe report, and should include materials that can be provided to residents seeking alternative treatments; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if any provision of this resolution is hereby declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to any statute, regulation, or judicial decision, or its applicability to any agency, person, or circumstances is held invalid, the validity of the remainder ofthis resolution and its applicability to any other agency person, or circumstance, shall not be affected.



BRIAN HOPKINS Aldennan, 2nd Ward


' Entheogens for Personal and Spiritual Growth

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'" Entheogens and Physical Wellness

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1V Entheogens and Substance Abuse

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v Entheogens and Recidivism

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V1 Entheogens and Anxiety

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vil Entheogens and Grief

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V1" Ayahuasca and Diabetes

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inhibition of DYRK1A increases human pancreatic beta cell replication. Nature Medicine 21, pp. 383-388.


1X Entheogens and Cluster Headaches

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Clusterbusters Medication Use Survey, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 47:5, 372-381, DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2015.1107664


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X1 Iboga/lbogaine for Addiction Therapy

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xii Opioid Overdose. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed online,

Xlli Trump Administration Announces $1.8 Billion in Funding to States to Continue Combating Opioid Crisis. Accessed online,

X1V Ayahuasca Experience similar to Near-Death Experience

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xv Ayahuasca for Addiction Therapy

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Brierley, D., and Davidson, C. (2012). Developments in harmine pharmacology-Implications for ayahuasca use and drug-dependence treatment. Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biology 39(2), pp. 263-272.



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XVI Ayahuasca and Depression

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dos Santos, R., etal. (2016). Anti-depressive, anxiolytic, and anti-addictive effects of ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): A systematic review of clinical trials published in the last 25 years. Therapeutic Advances in Psychophamiacology, 6(3), pp. 193-213. doi:10.1177/2045125316638008


xvii Ayahuasca and PTSD

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XV1" Ayahuasca and Personal Growth

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Neuropsychological Performance among Ritual Users of Ayahuasca: A Longitudinal

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X1X Ayahuasca and Spiritual Growth

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xx                     Peyote for treatment of alcohol and drug dependence

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Evaluating Treatments with LSD, Peyote, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca. Current Drug Abuse Reviews 7, pp. 101-116.


xxi                     Peyote

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xxn Psilocybin for End-of-Life Anxiety

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Journal of Psychopharmacology 30 (12), pp. 1205-1206. Kelmendi, B., et al. (2016). The role of psychedelics in palliative care reconsidered: A case for

psilocybin. Journal of Psychophannacology 30(12), pp. 1212-1214. Ross, S., et al. (2016). Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment

for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized

controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12), pp. 1165- 1180.


xxm Entheogens and Reduced Recidivism

Hendricks, P., et al. (2014). Hallucinogen use predicts reduced recidivism among substance-involved offenders under community corrections supervision. Journal of Psychopharmacology 28(1), pp. 62-66.

Walsh, Z., etal. (2016). Hallucinogen use and intimate partner violence: Prospective evidence consistent with protective effects among men with histories of problematic substance use. Journal of Psychopharmacology, pp. 1-7. DOI: 10.1177/0269881116642538.


XX1V Psilocybin and Treatment-Resistant Depression

Hendricks, P., etal. (2015). Psilocybin, psychological distress, and suicidality. Journal of

Psychopharmacology, 29(9), pp. 1041-1043. Lyons, T. and Carhart-Harris, R. (2018). Increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarian

political views after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. Journal of

Psychopharmacology, 32(7), pp. 811-819.



xxv Psilocybin and Cluster Headaches

Schindler, E. et al., (2015) lndoleamine Hallucinogens in Cluster Headache: Results ofthe

Clusterbusters Medication Use Survey, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 47(5), pp. 372-381. DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2015.1107664