The referendum, called Initiative 301, forbids city officials from using resources to criminally prosecute people over 21 years of age for personally possessing or using psilocybin, the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms" that causes hallucinations, declares it Denver's "lowest law enforcement priority", and creates a review board that will assess the effects of decriminalization in two years.
Magic mushrooms contain a psychedelic chemical, psilocybin, which under USA federal law belongs in the same group of banned drugs as heroin or LSD.
It decriminalizes both the use and possession of mushrooms containing psilocybin, a chemical that has psychedelic effects.
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For decades, research has been stymied by that standing however small studies lately have discovered that it can help treat depression and anxiety in cancer patients.
Campaigners who have fought for the drug to be decriminalised have argued that it is wrong for people to end up behind bars after using magic mushrooms to cope with problems like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Users have described seeing vivid colors and geometric patterns, and experiencing powerful spiritual connections and emotions.
"Tonight, it was win or learn", Kevin Matthews, the leader of the "Decriminalize Denver" movement, which placed Initiative 301 on the ballot, told USA Today.
Magic mushrooms have been used in religious practices for decades due to their powerful effect on perceptions and spiritual experiences. Ballots from the military and overseas will also still be accepted, however those are unlikely to tip the balance, The Denver Post reported.
Last year, a similar measure to decriminalise psilocybin mushrooms in California failed to gain enough signatures for inclusion on the ballot. Organizers in OR are now trying to collect enough support to put an initiative to a vote. The larger issue here is not good for our city.
The proposed ordinance would avoid city funds from being used generate a panel to study the impacts of the shift and to pursue criminal penalties on use or possession. "One arrest is too many for something with such low and manageable risks for most people, relative to its potential benefits".