Denver has become the first city in the United States to decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms. Voters went to the polls on Tuesday and it took until late yesterday for officials to determine the tiny margin. Of 170,000 votes, 50.6% said yes and 49.4% said no, which shows just how close a vote this was and it isn’t totally accepted by all residents. Election officials must still certify the final vote.
The voters went to the poll to vote on a change that would make police enforcement of psychedelic mushrooms “the lowest law enforcement priority in the City and County of Denver.”
This is only a change to Denver and not the rest of the state. Magic shrooms still remain illegal and classified as a schedule 1 drug federally. Selling them is still a felony. Marijuana is legal recreationally in the state and sold in shops, where you won’t find the mushrooms.
The initiative also creates a panel that will look at the safety, administrative, fiscal and health impacts of decriminalization of mushrooms, according to The Washington Post. Local officials voiced their opposition to the measure like the DA and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who is currently in a runoff for the mayor’s office.
There has been growing research that shows psilocybin, the active chemical compound in over 200 species of mushrooms, has medical benefits. It has been shown in a number of studies to have positive effects on depression, PTSD, addiction and chronic pain, among other human ailments.