In three weeks, Denver could become the primary city within us to decriminalize "magic" mushrooms or psilocybin.
If Initiative 301 passes, Denver law enforcement would make surveillance of the personal use and possession of psilocybin its lowest priority as long as users are at least 21 years old.
Decriminalizing Denver is behind the measure, which has garnered support from both the Denver Green Party and the Colorado Libertarian Party.
Kevin Matthews, campaign director for the Denver Psilocybin Initiative, said, "No one should be criminalized, should not face harsh punishments for a drug that has such enormous potential."
Denverite Municipal Elections Guide: Initiative 301
Matthews and other psilocybin supporters point to studies that show mushrooms can help with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Researchers are studying the clinical properties of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics, within the case of the toilet Hopkins Psychedelic Research Unit, for nearly 20 years.
The benefits are not just theoretical for Matthews. Matthews stated that after being honorably discharged from the Army and West Point for depression, he continued to fight until he was helped recover by an encounter with psilocybin magic mushroom canada.
“The mushrooms gave me a new perspective. They allowed me to see outside the box that my state of mind was created due to my depression, ”he said.
A Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel will be established as part of the ballot initiative, which may include law enforcement officers, council members, proponents of the initiative, and an addiction specialist. The panel would track and evaluate the decriminalization process.
Possession of psychedelic mushrooms is illegal at the federal level, although psilocybin spores or other strains can be purchased by anyone legally online.
Initiative 301 does not decriminalize the sale of mushrooms, only growing, possessing, and using them personally, Matthews said. He does not believe that decriminalization will lead to an increase in criminal enterprises.
He said, "There is already a culture here in Colorado." What we all know now's that a lot of Denverites, many Coloradans, are turning to psilocybin as an alternate treatment for a few of the addiction and psychological state conditions they face.
The Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank at Colorado Christian University, is one of the measure's opponents Peter Droege, the institute's drug and marijuana addiction policy fellow, said he would be less critical if Initiative 301 restricted decriminalized use under the recommendation and supervision of a psychiatrist.
It would be a different conversation if it was done under the supervision of a doctor and prescribed responsibly. Releasing this on the streets is the wrong approach, Droege said.
Droege also expressed concern about the possible negative side effects of psilocybin use. Overdoses are possible, according to the DEA, and "large amounts can cause panic attacks and psychosis.
You have to believe people when they say psilocybin mushrooms will help them rewire their brains. They hope that they will positively reconfigure their brains. But the reality is that it could also reconfigure their brains in a very destructive way. Droege said.
Matthews rejected the Centennial Institute's concerns that psilocybin poses extreme risks. He notes that mushrooms are considered non-addictive and are safer than many other recreational substances.
Between Initiative 301 garnered enough signatures to get on Denver's ballot and the state legislature considering a bill that would decolonize all drugs, Matthews said there is a lot of interest in a different kind of drug regulation.
It seems clear to me that the people of Denver and therefore the voters of Colorado are ready for a replacement conversation about state and government policies regarding drug use and he said.