If approved, Initiative 301 - which is on Tuesday's ballot in Denver - would not make psilocybin mushrooms fully legal in that city, but would decriminalize them. The initiative, Initiated Ordinance 301 or the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative, " would design the non-public expend and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms by folks twenty-one (21) years of age and older the metropolis's lowest law-enforcement precedence".
Some researchers warn that the compound should only be used under medical supervision and can prompt paranoia and anxiety. It does not legalize psilocybin or permit its sale by cannabis businesses. They collected more than 8,000 signatures to qualify for Tuesday's election. The effects also appeal to recreational users.
As with heroin and LSD, the federal government classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I drug, saying it has no medical objective and a high potential for abuse.
Users have described seeing vivid colours and geometric patterns and experiencing powerful spiritual connections and emotions.
It asks voters if the personal use and possession of the drug should be the city's "lowest law enforcement priority". But there is nearly no organized opposition to the pro-psilocybin campaign, Decriminalize Denver. However, some recent research has suggested that psilocybin may be effective in treating some forms of depression. The city's election largely focused on a six-way race for mayor and a heated effort to end Denver's "urban camping" ban that affects people without housing. "The truth is we have no idea what the long-term health effects of these drugs are going to do to the people of Colorado", Jeff Hunt, an official at Colorado Christian University, said on CNN after the referendum on mushrooms was announced.
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Before the vote Denver's district attorney Beth McCann said that, although she was against the motion, if it passed she would support the formation of a review panel to study the effects of the drug. "Let's get that figured out before we add something else".
If passed, the ordinance wouldn't legalize mushrooms - but instead would "prohibit the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties" for possession, according to the text.
Matthew Johnson, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was one of the authors of a study a year ago recommending that the Food and Drug Administration reclassify the drug to acknowledge its potential medical uses and relatively low potential for abuse.
Matthews said psilocybin has been shown to help reduce dependence on opioids.