A county prosecutor in Michigan announced on Tuesday that his office will not be pursuing charges over possessing marijuana or entheogenic substances like psilocybin and ayahuasca — “regardless of the amount at issue.”
Eli Savit, who was elected as prosecuting attorney in Washtenaw County in November, said state and local policy changes have underscored the need to end the drug war and cease criminalizing people over cannabis and psychedelics. He also said that his office will not contest applications for marijuana- or entheogen-related expungements.
Let’s start with marijuana—or cannabis. As our policy outlines, it’s important to consider the history of the substance; the racially disparate effects of criminalization; its properties; & the current legal landscape.
— Eli Savit (@EliNSavit) January 12, 2021
In a pair of directives, Savit gave background on laws governing cannabis and psychedelics, stressing racial disparities in enforcement and the relatively low risk the substances pose to public health. Additionally, the prosecutor emphasized that Michigan has legalized marijuana for adult use and Ann Arbor opted to decriminalize entheogenic substances last year.
In September, shortly after being elected, Savit discussed his plans to enact the reforms, calling the drug was an “abject failure.”
“The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer file criminal charges for unauthorized use or possession of marijuana or cannabis, regardless of the amount at issue,” the new directive states. That’s despite the fact that there are possession limits written into the state’s cannabis law and criminal penalties for exceeding that threshold.
“We’ve long known that marijuana is as safe as alcohol. It thus makes no more sense to charge someone for having ‘too much’ cannabis than it does to charge people for having ‘too many’ bottles of wine,” Savit wrote on Twitter. “And