Denver is set to become the first city in the nation to (basically) decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. (It basically directs the police to “look the other way” on adult psilocybin use.) After voting this week, it’s looks as though Initiative 301 will pass- albeit narrowly– with just 50.6 percent of the vote: 89,320 votes in favor and 87,341 against. That’s a very small margin. Results will be certified May 16.
“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. But Initiative 301 backers hope to lower the risk users face of getting caught with mushrooms.”1
Oregon and California are watching, too since there’s interest in getting a psilocybin-related measure on the ballot in 2020.
However, not everyone is thrilled.
Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University said, “We’ll see what the final numbers are, but we’re a little stunned to see a 7,000-vote flip overnight on that. We’ll continue to fight the growing drug culture. Denver’s becoming the illicit drug capital of the world. The larger issue here is not good for our city. Marijuana has brought more problems than it’s solved to our city and our state, and if we continue to go down this track, we’re going to continue to see Colorado get in worse and worse shape.”1
But its supporters praised the decision based on emerging research showing “potential health benefits from psychedelic mushrooms.”1 And last fall, the FDA “granted psilocybin ‘breakthrough therapy’ designation for its potential to help with treatment-resistant depression, a status that speeds up the development and review process for a medicine containing the substance.”1
Should Initiative 301 pass, the city will be required to create a panel to monitor the effects and implementation of the ordinance.
What do you think about the use of and decriminalization of mushrooms? Would you consider using them or have you?