Initiated by the Decriminalize Denver community, majority of voters in Denver, Colorado, were in favor of lessening the criminal penalties on psilocybin which is found in the so-called magic “mushroom.” The results indicate Denver as the first city to decriminalize the hallucinogen in the U.S.
The city’s Denver Elections Body announced that 89,320 people voted for decriminalization, while 87,341 people voted against the initiative. The results are not official until May 16. But the results during the earlier days of the voting period during this week were different.
Fluctuating Consensus on the Hallucinogenic Substance
Last Tuesday, more than 50 percent of voters were against the decriminalization initiative, or locally known as “Initiative 301.” In response, the odds of decriminalizing the hallucinogen that is found in certain mushrooms were slim to none. A group of activists in Denver initiated the voting poll for decriminalization including a former U.S. cadet who insisted on the benefits and positive effects that the substance does against major depression. The city code would be changed wherein law enforcement upon people who are 21 years old and above using and possessing psilocybin mushrooms “shall be the lowest law enforcement priority in the City and County of Denver.”
The magic mushroom would still be illegal for possession and marketing or drug pushing in the city. In a 1968 federal law on psilocybin and other drugs including marijuana, LSD, and heroin, it states that the drug has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” The drug is mostly associated with the “hippies” during the 60s. People who found themselves in that label experienced altered perceptions, they were influenced religious beliefs, saw colorful patterns of different shapes and sizes, and believed in things and concepts beyond human comprehension like UFOs and alien invasion.
Advocates of the drug have proven the law otherwise. Results from researches on psilocybin have shown a reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with cancer and other chronic illnesses. Other people who experience post-traumatic stress disorder have testified to the positive results brought by the drug.
Denver at the Forefront of Decriminalization
In 2005, voters in Mile High City were able to push the decriminalization of possessing marijuana. People in Colorado voted on the legalization of pot and its possession by people who were above 21 years old in 2012. Pot has been legally sold in Colorado on the first day of 2014.
The substance, psilocybin, is described as a “hallucinogenic chemical obtained from certain types of fresh and dried mushrooms.” The campaign that advocates decriminalization of magic mushrooms made about 45,000 dollars last Monday and experienced less tension from opposing parties in Denver.