Published: Fri, May 10, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Denver votes to become first U.S. city to decriminalize 'magic mushrooms'

Denver votes to become first U.S. city to decriminalize 'magic mushrooms'

On Tuesday, Denver, Colorado became the first us city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, approving the ballot referendum by a razor-thin margin of 51 to 49 after news agencies originally projected the measure would fail.

The no-votes seemed to have had it on election night, but final results released by the Denver Elections Division a little after 4 p.m. Wednesday show the yes-votes ahead by about 2,000. As many as 1,300 votes still remain to be counted, but that figure was not enough to swing the vote the other way, division spokesman Alton Dillard said.

The measure doesn't legalize the mushrooms but says police should "deprioritize, to the greatest extent possible" penalties for the use or possession of psilocybin among people over 21, the Denver Channel reports.

"It's been one hell of a 21-and-a-half hours", Kevin Matthews who led the decriminalisation campaign, told The Denver Post after the vote results were announced.

Organizers turned to the same strategy that marijuana activists used to decriminalize pot possession in the city in 2005.

Psilocybin has been federally outlawed in the United States since the 1960s, when it was widely known as a recreational drug.

A number of other states have since allowed marijuana sales and use by adults.

For decades, that status has stymied research into medical uses of psilocybin, but small, closely supervised studies in recent years have found that it can help treat anxiety and depression in cancer patients.

Those same effects have appealed to recreational users dating to the 1960s counterculture movement.

In 2018, a similar measure to decriminalise psilocybin mushrooms state-wide in California failed to gain enough signatures for inclusion on the ballot.

Decriminalise Denver said: "No-one should go to jail, lose their children, lose their job, and lose their citizen's rights for using a mushroom". "Let's get that figured out before we add something else". The city's election has 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.

"Nobody should be penalized for this substance", Matthews said.

The group also argues that "One arrest is too many for something with such low and manageable risks for most people, relative to its potential benefits". "No person deserves this kind of treatment for a substance this safe".

Like this: