Colorado residents voted for the legalization of cannabis back in November 2012, becoming one of the first states in the country to legalize the plant for recreational use and sale. Now there is an effort there to decriminalize psilocybin, the active psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms.
An organization called Denver for Psilocybin met with Denver city officials earlier this month to submit its proposal, dubbed the Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative. The group is now waiting for the Denver Elections Division to approve the proposal, at which time they will be able to start collecting the signatures needed to put the measure on the November 2018 ballot.
If Colorado’s residents were to vote in favor of decriminalizing psilocybin later this year, then they would be able to carry up to two ounces of cured “dried” mushrooms or two pounds of fresh “wet” mushrooms without any legal ramifications. In addition, searching for magic mushrooms would become the lowest priority for police.
Instead of a receiving a felony charge for possession, anyone caught with more than the allowed amount would be required to pay a fine of up to $99 for the first offense. If they were caught again, the fine would increase each time by $100 but would be capped at $999—regardless of the number of offenses.
Many of the people involved with the initiative claim to have experienced benefits from their own use of magic mushrooms, and there have been psychedelic research studies that provide evidence to back up these anecdotal claims. Several studies have shown that psilocybin is capable of playing a role in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, end-of-life anxiety, and to assist with smoking cessation.
For those of you clamoring for overall legalization of magic mushrooms, it may be helpful to remember that Colorado decriminalized cannabis long before it became legal for medical or recreational use. If decriminalization of psilocybin is successful, a medical or recreational model might be just beyond the horizon.
If this movement is successful, it won’t be the first time that a political action like this has been taken. New Mexico began allowing the cultivation of psilocybin in 2015 and California may also vote to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in its November 2018 elections.
As the members of Denver for Psilocybin chanted at the steps of the Denver City and County building, it’s time for us to “free the spores!”