Denver becomes the first city to decriminalize magic mushrooms with landmark vote
Denver claimed another decisive battle against the war on drugs Tuesday, becoming the first city to officially decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.
The hotly contended city ordinance passed by a narrow 2,000 votes (just over 1 percent margin), according to preliminary postings. While the hallucinogen’s decriminalization does not render it officially legal, the legislation drives psilocybin mushrooms to the bottom of local law enforcement’s list of criminal prioritization. This will ensure it’s nearly impossible for the city’s resources to go towards penalizing individuals 21 and over who are found consuming or possessing personal amounts of psilocybin.
The decision arrives on the stipulation that the city establish a psilocybin review panel, to “assess and report on the effects” of the ordinance. The legislation largely owes its success to Decriminalize Denver, a local group of advocates who, back in January, accrued the local signatures required to take the initiative to vote.
Similar to Denver’s precedent-setting legal marijuana legislation back in 2012, the city’s new ordinance is directly discordant with federal law, which classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I controlled substance (same categorization as heroin), meaning the US recognizes the drug to bear no direct medicinal properties.
However a growing body of research suggests otherwise. For instance, studies have shown the non-addictive drug’s propensity to combat a wealth of physical and psychological conditions with mild and minimal adverse effects cited. So far, studies have indicated magic mushrooms’ ability to treat alcoholism, anxiety, both acute suicidal thoughts and chronic depression, opioid addiction, as well as aiding in tobacco cessation, just to name a few.
Nonetheless, psychedelics aren’t for everyone. Magic mushrooms should be approached with profound forethought and self-awareness, even for treatment-resistant individuals considering the drug for potential remedial effects. Dancing Astronaut will continue reporting on the outcome of the decriminalization once the review panel delivers its analysis of the ordinance’s safety and efficacy.