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Denver psychedelic mushroom measure narrowly passes

Posted at 5:29 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 10:14:48-04

DENVER – The Mile High City is the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin, the psychoactive substance in “magic mushrooms.” Initiative 301 passed by a slim margin, with 50.56% of the votes.

The measure would decriminalize the use or possession of psilocybin by those who are 21 and older. It does not legalize psilocybin or permit its sale by cannabis businesses.

The ordinance would also prevent city funds from being used to pursue criminal penalties on possession or use and create a panel to study the effects of the change.

psilocybin mushrooms
Psilocybin Mushrooms

The federal government lists psychedelic mushrooms as a Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal value, alongside heroin, cocaine and other substances.

The ordinance would set a low police priority anyone 21 and over caught in possession of or using the mushrooms. It would also prohibit city prosecutors from pursuing a case.

There’s also a provision to create a Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel, which would include 2 city council members, to examine any negative impacts of the ordinance.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a trial to study the mushroom’s impact on treatment-resistant depression. Compass Pathways will conduct the trials in the United States and Europe.

According to the group’s site, “a number of small academic studies have suggested that psilocybin therapy provides immediate and sustained reductions in depression and other illnesses, following a single treatment.”


The federal Drug Enforcement Agency defines psilocybin as a “Hallucinogenic chemical obtained from certain types of fresh and dried mushrooms. Has slender stems topped by caps with dark gills on the underside.”

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