Denver to Decide Whether to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

Melanie Arter | May 7, 2019 | 10:46am EDT
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(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

First it was marijuana. Now, voters in Denver, Colo., are deciding Tuesday whether to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

The initiative – backed by the Denver Green Party and the Libertarian Party of Colorado – approved would make the city the first in the nation to decriminalize what some call “magic mushrooms,” if it is approved.


Ordinance 301, also known as the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative does not differentiate between medical and recreational use of mushrooms. However, the drug has been used to treat anxiety and depression.

A 2017 study in the journal Nature showed 47 percent of patients with treatment-resistant depression showed positive results after receiving psilocybin treatments after five weeks, CNN reports. Furthermore, researchers from Johns Hopkins University last year called for removing magic mushrooms from the Schedule I list of substances.

Jeff Hunt, vice president of public policy at Colorado Christian University and director the Centennial Institute, called psychedelic mushrooms a “serious problem," adding that "Denver is quickly becoming the illicit drug capital of the world," CBS Denver reported.

"When you look at all the things that we're dealing with, you have high-potency pot, you have proposals for supervised needle infection sights," Hunt said. "The psychedelic mushroom folks are following the same playbook that marijuana did. They're starting with decriminalization and then they're going to move on to commercialization."



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