Voters in Denver, Colorado have taken the historic step of passing a city initiative to decriminalize mushrooms containing psilocybin, known most commonly as psychedelic mushrooms, according to a Harvest Public Media report.
During initial returns on Tuesday night, it appeared at first that the initiative would fail; election officials announced late on Wednesday, however, that Ordinance 301 had passed with just 50.56 percent of voter support.
The initiative does not legalize the federally prohibited mushrooms but does prevent city police and prosecutors from arresting and/or prosecuting adults aged 21 or older for the possession or use of psilocybin mushrooms. The grassroots initiative also states that adults who grow the fungus for personal use will be considered a low priority for city law enforcement.
“Our victory today is a clear signal to the rest of the country that Americans are ready for a conversation around psilocybin.” — Kevin Matthews, director of the Denver campaign, via Harvest Public Media
Supporters of the initiative pointed to research indicating the mushroom’s huge medical potential for the treatment of depression, addiction, and potentially PTSD. Other research has shown that the fungus is not addictive, contrary to the substance’s Schedule 1 status under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Advocates of psilocybin mushrooms have announced plans to push for similar ballot initiatives in California and Oregon for the 2020 elections.
Colorado — of which Denver is the capital and largest city — made history in 2012 when voters there decided to legalize adult-use cannabis, which set the state down the path to creating the first state-wide taxed and regulated cannabis marketplace.