Denver could become the first city in the US to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. This is very exciting news for millions of people nationwide suffering from depression and anxiety as studies show the mushrooms have the potential to help treat and alleviate mental illness.
On May 7th, Denver voters will have the opportunity to make the possession, use and growth (but not sales) of psilocybin mushrooms for those over the age of 21 the city’s “lowest law-enforcement priority.” The city government would also be prohibited from using funds to impose criminal penalties against adults for low-level psilocybin offences. All in thanks to an initiative approved last week.
The Denver Elections Division announced Friday, “after reviewing, signatures submitted by the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative it has been determined that they submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures and the question will appear on the May 7, 2019, Municipal Election ballot.”
In addition, the initiative would create a review panel to periodically report on the effects of the decriminalization.
Decriminalize Denver, the citizen-led grassroots movement behind the campaign is dedicated to removing the unfounded restrictions on psychedelics. “As the first of its kind in the US, our ballot initiative serves as a framework for psilocybin mushroom legislative reform.”
“There’s a lot of support for this, and now that we’re on the ballot and this is official, we have a real chance here to have this national conversation.” Kevin Matthews, campaign director said.
“An estimated 1 in 6 Americans are taking psychiatric medication, and there is a rampant epidemic of prescription drug abuse across the country. The need for powerful, medically-effective alternatives in addition to traditional pharmaceutical interventions is clear to all.”
Furthermore, a study published by the Lancet ranked 20 recreational drugs based on how much of a danger they pose to the user, impact on crime and socioeconomic effects. Psilocybin was ranked the least harmful of all 20 drugs. Alcohol topped the list ranking as more dangerous even than heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine.
Many find it baffling that psilocybin is currently classified in the same category as heroin, a schedule 1 drug (a dangerous substance with high potential for abuse and no known medical potential).
Numerous studies highlighting the benefits of psilocybin are underway and thus far have presented exceedingly favourable results. This includes psilocybin as a treatment for cocaine and alcohol addiction, smoking, depression, cluster headaches, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder just to name a few.
Although current research suggests that psilocybin has astounding medical potential, it must clear phase III clinical trials before the Food and Drug Administration can be petitioned to reclassify.