Come this November, Colorado voters will decide whether to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, and the initiative could open the door for decriminalizing other hallucinogens.
On Thursday, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said 225,140 signatures were submitted for Initiative 58. The office projects that about 138,760 are valid, putting the campaign more than 111% over its required signature goal. Voters will see this on their November 8th ballot.
So what are the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms?
Psychedelics have been used to treat ailments like substance use disorders, PTSD in veterans and anxiety and depression in cancer patients. The initiative hopes to expand the state’s mental health approach to include these drugs, both for personal use and under a legal therapeutic structure to prescribe administer them.
The Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022 would decriminalize psilocybin, also known as psychedelic or “magic” mushrooms, for people aged 21 and up. Coloradans of age could possess it, ingest it and grow it at home without criminal penalty under state law.
The law would also allow for licensed healing centers where people could buy and consume the mushrooms. It would however remain a crime for anyone else to sell them without a license.
The law would also create a Natural Medicine Advisory Board. By June 2026, that board could recommend other natural drugs including the psychedelics dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine and mescaline in the law’s definition of decriminalized natural medicine.
This is just a step toward natural healers having the ability to recommend and administer hallucinogens for healing purposes. During this time, another signature-gathering effort is happening on hallucinogens in Colorado. Initiative 61 would decriminalize psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline. Like the other initiative, it would still prohibit the distribution of the drugs, but it does not look as if they will permit businesses to sell them.
In 2019, Denver voters already decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms, allowing for the possession and personal cultivation of the fungi. Remember this is statewide, all of the drugs are still Schedule 1 narcotics on the federal level.
With that said, what do we think of these steps? Do you think we are moving in the right direction? Treating mental health with natural alternatives does sound appealing. Anyone reading the news knows there are a lot of mental health issues happening in our state, and they certainly need attention.