DENVER – An initiative that would have removed criminal penalties for the possession of psilocybin and other hallucinogens in Colorado failed to gather enough signatures to appear before voters in November, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said Tuesday.
Initiative 61 would have decriminalized the personal use of certain entheogenic plants and fungi (including psilocybin, psilocin, ibogaine, mescaline [not including peyote], and dimethyltryptamine) for adults age 21 and older, but would not have allowed the sale of these substances.
Proponents of the initiative – one that Decriminalize Colorado was hoping to get on the November ballot – were only able to submit 5,001 signatures by the Aug. 8 deadline – nearly 120,000 short of the required valid signatures to make it to the general election ballot.
The other initiative proposed by Natural Medicine Colorado – the Initiative 58 – did qualify to appear before voters this November.
Initiative 58 would create a state-regulated access model to make it legal for people to receive natural medicine services at licensed healing centers and approved health care locations, like palliative care. It would also remove criminal penalties for the use of these natural medicines, but people younger than 21 could still be charged with a petty drug offense.
While proponents have argued that removing criminal penalties for the possession, use and gifting of these psychedelic mushrooms hasn’t posed a public health risk in cities where these hallucinogens have been decriminalized, some – like Alan Floyd, a cancer patient who uses psilocybin under Right-to-Try – are concerned how corporate interests and the pharmaceutical industry will react once these substances are part of the health care conversation.
“The last thing I would want to see on Earth is for the pharmaceutical companies to have a stranglehold on this medicine; I feel that that is wrong.”
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