COLORADO SPRINGS — In the words of a spokesperson from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, "Colorado voters have spoken."
And they have spoken in favor of decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms.
"Using this medicine in the right way, it can be life changing," said Hannah Plush, a Spiritual and Mental Health Coach and Plant Medicine Facilitator.
Plush is working with Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center, designing a plan to help educate veterans and their families about how psychedelic mushrooms impact the brain and the potential benefits when treating mental health problems.
"I'm a veteran myself and actually through my own mental health struggles, I kind of found plant medicine and when I started using that it became very clear that healing," said Plush.
According to the unofficial results of the 2022 midterm election, Colorado will become the second state to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.
The drug will be regulated through a Natural Medicine Advisory Board, which is expected to be created by the end of January 2023. Applications for the board are now open and regulations are expected to take effect in 2024.
"It's best done with a clinician or a practitioner who's able to guide intention and purpose," said Plush, speaking to the importance of education now that the drug is decriminalized.
Many of the advertisement advocating for Proposition 122 leading up to the election depicted veterans saying the only thing that helped them deal with their mental health issues was psychedelic mushrooms.
However, El Paso County voters opposed the statewide initiative by a roughly 55% to 45% margin.
"There's definitely some fear there which I think is healthy, and I think that's where the education comes in is that this can be a really amazing way of addressing mental health issues," said Plush.
In Plush's experience, psychedelic mushrooms, specifically microdosing, allow the user to objectively look at the emotions they might be experiencing.
"We essentially interrupt that program that's playing in your mind and we replace it with new habits and new ways of thinking," explained Plush.
When News5 asked DORA for specifics on this rollout process, including how things like the "healing centers" where people are supposed to be eventually using the drug, will be funded, they responded with:
No further information is available at this time. Please keep an eye on our website for additional information as we move closer to implementation.
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