Colorado Voters To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms
Colorado voters have passed a ballot initiative to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms for people 21 and older and to create state-regulated “healing centers” where patients can experience the drug under supervision, Thomas Peipert reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The move to legalize the mushrooms comes a decade after Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana, after initially allowing its use for medical reasons.
Colorado becomes the second state, after Oregon, to vote to establish a regulated system for substances like psilocybin and psilocin, the hallucinogens found in some mushrooms.
The initiative, which would take effect in 2024, also will allow an advisory board to add other plant-based psychedelic drugs to the program in 2026.
Supporters argued that the state’s current approach to mental health has failed and that naturally occurring psychedelics, which have been used for hundreds of years, can treat depression, PTSD, anxiety, addiction, and other conditions.
They also said jailing people for the non-violent offense of using naturally occurring substances costs taxpayers’ money.
Critics warned that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the substances as medicine. They also argued that allowing “healing centers” to operate, and allowing private personal use of the drugs, would jeopardize public safety and send the wrong message to kids and adults alike that the substances are healthy.
The move comes a decade after Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana, after initially allowing its use for medical reasons, which led to a multibillion-dollar industry with hundreds of dispensaries popping up across the state.
Critics of the latest ballot initiative say the same deep-pocketed players who were involved in legalizing recreational marijuana are using a similar playbook to create a commercial market, and eventually recreational dispensaries, for dangerous substances.