Denver Proposal Looks to Legalize Hallucinogenic 'Magic Mushrooms'

Denver Proposal Looks to Legalize Hallucinogenic 'Magic Mushrooms'

Psilocybin has been outlawed in the US since the 1960s, and some researchers warn that it should only be used under medical supervision and can prompt paranoia and anxiety.

The active compound in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, categorized as a Schedule I substance, the same as heroin and ecstasy.

Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in ten USA states, including its most-populous, California, while 30 of 50 states allow its use for medical purposes.

Recent research, however, has found that psilocybin helps in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression in cancer patients. The ordinance, if handed, would additionally bar the metropolis from spending money on prison enforcement for those adults and establish and "psilocybin mushroom protection evaluation panel". The FDA describes breakthrough therapy as created to expedite development of a drug after preliminary evidence shows "the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy". Users have described seeing vivid colours and geometric patterns, and experiencing powerful spiritual connections and emotions.

Adoption of the measure could signal fledgling public acceptance of a mind-altering drug, outlawed nationally for almost 50 years, that recent research suggests could have beneficial medical uses.

What are Denver voters being asked?

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The measure, Initiated Ordinance 301, would make "personal use and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms" by those 21 or older "the city's lowest law-enforcement priority". It would not legalize psilocybin or permit its sale by Denver's cannabis businesses.

But Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and District Attorney Beth McCann both oppose the proposal.

What were people saying about mushrooms?

The referendum on the ballot in local elections set to produce a result late in the evening would block the city from using its resources to enforce criminal penalties for the use of psilocybin, the psychoactive substance in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

According to McCann's office, only 11 of more than 9,000 drug cases referred for possible prosecution between 2016 and 2018 involved psilocybin. "Prosecutors filed charges of possession with intent to manufacture or distribute in three of those cases", Fox News reported. Organizers in OR, meanwhile, are trying to gain enough support to put an initiative to a statewide vote next year.

Some opponents worry that if passed, the initiative would further the city's image as a haven for drugs, given that recreational marijuana is already allowed under Colorado law.

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