While Colorado has become the first state to legalize recreational use of cannabis, the state capital looks to become the first city in the United States to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin, famously known as “magic mushrooms.”
Today, Denver residents will vote on the measure named Initiated Ordinance 301, which would make personal possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms by adults 21 years of age or older the lowest priority by city law enforcement. If the ordinance passes, the city wouldn’t be allowed to spend resources to criminalize users—but not legalize mushrooms. The drug can only be grown, not sold.
The movement for this potentially historic vote was led by the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative, after obtaining 5,559 signatures (out of over 8,000 submitted), which surpasses the 4,726-signature requirement. The issue was then added to the May 7 election ballot.
Although the hallucinogen has been outlawed throughout the country for almost five decades, recent studies claim the substance has medicinal benefits such as treating anxiety and depression. Other research suggests the drug can be used in therapy to quit smoking and treat alcoholism.
Critics believe the measure is a serious problem, claiming Denver will eventually become the illegal drug capital of the globe. Not only do they claim decriminalization will lead to legalization, but also commercialism just like the pot industry.
Currently, possession of psilocybin mushrooms in Colorado is a level 4 drug felony, punishable by a maximum 12-month prison term and a fine no more than $100,000. Unlawful use is a level 2 drug misdemeanor, which can lead to a maximum $750 fine and possibly jail time.
City residents have until 7 PM to cast their vote.
For more information about drug crimes in Denver, contact The Orr Law Firm today and request a free consultation today.