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Denver is one step closer toward decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms

Posted at 11:20 AM, Jan 08, 2019

DENVER (KUSA) – The campaign to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Denver says it has enough signatures to make the May 2019 municipal ballot.

Denver for Psilocybin turned in those 8,000 signatures to the elections office Monday, following a rally outside of the Capitol building.

The elections office has 25 days to verify they have collected the 4,729 valid signatures needed to make the ballot.

According to our reporting partners 9NEWS, campaign organizer Kevin Matthews told them more than 100 volunteers were involved in gathering signatures.

Matthews said he wants voters to understand what the campaign is about.

Rather than legalizing magic mushrooms, the measure wants to decriminalize them, similar to the language proposed in the 2007 initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession.

If passed, the ordinance would make the use and possession of psychedelic mushrooms by people over 21 years old a low priority for police and prohibit the city of Denver from prosecuting cases related to this.

It would also create a Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel to assess the potential impacts of the ordinance which would include two Denver City Council members.

Right now, the FDA classifies psychedelic mushrooms as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for substances it says has no medicinal value. That’s the same category as heroin and cocaine.

Jeff Hunt, the vice president of Public Policy at Colorado Christian University, told 9NEWS on Monday that the long-term effects of psychedelic mushrooms remains to be seen.

In Oregon, a 2020 initiative is proposing to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin and allow the mushrooms to be grown legally with a license – something that Matthews said is the next step for his campaign should their current effort become law.

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