Denver, CO is on the cusp of being the first city in the nation to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms or ‘magic mushrooms’. Final unofficial results posted late yesterday showed that ‘Initiative 301’ is set to pass narrowly with 50.6 percent of the vote. Results will be certified May 16.
“It’s been one hell of a 21 and a half hours,” Initiative 301 campaign manager Kevin Matthews told the Denver Post. “If these results hold, this is an example of the absurd comedy of the great metaphor. Against all odds, we prevailed. This is what happens when a small team of dedicated and passionate people unite under a single idea to create change.”
Although efforts are also underway to get psilocybin-related measures on the ballot in Oregon and California in 2020, Denver once again is blazing another trail as they did by legalizing marijuana in 2014 (although the successful vote was in 2012). Psychedelic mushrooms still would remain illegal to buy, sell or possess, with the latter crime a felony that carries a potential punishment of up to a year in prison and a fine. The measure essentially tells the police to look the other way on adult psilocybin use.
- Related: Colorado’s Marijuana Industry Continues to Grow | Sales and Tax Revenue in California Fall Way Below Expectations
Psilocybin is not addictive, does not lead to overdoses and is not thought to have long-term side effects, research has shown. It is a naturally occurring compound in some fungi. A number of studies have shown positive effects on people addicted to opioids, alcohol or tobacco, as well as diminished depression and anxiety. Researchers have found such benefits to mushrooms that the Food and Drug Administration has granted “breakthrough therapy” status to study psilocybin for treating depression.
The hallucinogen has been outlawed by the federal government since 1970.