On Tuesday, residents of Denver will vote on the decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms. These mushrooms are hallucinogens that have been used for religious purposes for hundreds of years. They have been illegal since 1970.
According to The Washington Post, the movement, which is being called “Decriminalize Denver,” is the first public referendum on “magic mushrooms” in the U.S. Initiative 301 would not apply to all of Colorado, only the city of Denver. Personal use or possession of psilocybin mushrooms would result in “the lowest law enforcement priority in the City and County of Denver.” Having mushrooms would still technically be illegal still and their sale would still be a felony.
Supporters of the initiative say that hallucinogens can have long-term positive effects on things like addiction, depression, chronic pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The mushrooms are not addictive and do not lead to overdoses. More, the naturally occurring fungi are thought to not have long-term side effects.
Denver mayor, Michael Hancock, said he is opposed to the initiative. Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said, “At this point, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” She continued, “We’re still figuring out marijuana, and even though things are going well so far, we’re still measuring the impacts on the people of Denver.
McAnn explained that although there has not been a rise in violent crime surrounding weed dispensaries, there has been a rise in hospital visits associated with marijuana. She wants to see more research on the effects of the mushrooms.
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