Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative Approved in Denver

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Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative Approved in Denver

May 15, 2019

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by many species of mushroom that grow naturally. They can be cultivated in various parts of the United States, and they are primarily associated with counterculturists.

The fungi are sometimes called “magic mushrooms” due to their hallucinogenic properties. Mushrooms that contain psilocybin can have a wide array of effects on individuals. While users face some risks, repeated use does not lead to physical dependence, according to a study appearing in Addiction Biology. Still, psilocybin is a Schedule I drug; this is due to it having no known therapeutic benefit.

There is much that researchers do not know about psychedelic compounds, including psilocybin. In recent years, scientists have looked into whether it can help people living with mental illness, including those who have a substance use disorder.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression, according to Healthline. Dr. Kenneth Duckworth, a Harvard University professor and medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), says that psilocybin seems to ease the symptoms of depression. Perhaps further research will explain why some patients may benefit from this controversial treatment.

Soon, we may see some states take a more liberal stance on magic mushrooms. What’s more, it appears that Colorado may take the lead on decriminalizing hallucinogenic fungi.

Denver Decriminalizes Psilocybin

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21. As many of our readers know, a number of other states would follow their move. It is now legal for adults to use cannabis in ten states and the District of Columbia.

Right or wrong, it seems that recreational cannabis use is the future. As we have pointed out in the past, legal doesn’t mean safe; those using marijuana should strongly consider the drug’s effect. Cannabis use disorder is real, and the condition can wreak havoc on people’s lives.

It may not surprise our readers to learn that the capital of Colorado just became the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. This month, Initiative 301 received 51 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times. Denver voters were in favor of making the personal use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms, among people 21 and older, the lowest possible law enforcement priority.

While the drug is still illegal statewide, the passing of Initiative 301 could portend a nationwide trend. Oregon and California are both considering measures to alter their psilocybin laws, according to Vox. Decriminalization advocates contend it shifts law enforcement resources away from pursuing nonviolent offenses. Those who are against the move argue that it will lead to more drug use.

Some people may be wondering, what are the risks if psilocybin isn’t addictive? Experts warn that hallucinogens can lead to traumatic experiences and adversely affect people predisposed to mental illness.

However, some experts believe that magic mushrooms do not pose much of a threat, including Dr. Matthew Johnson. The associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recommends that the FDA reclassify the drug because of its medicinal properties and low potential for abuse.

It will be interesting to see the impact that Initiative 301 will have on Denver, and if more cities across the state will follow. We will continue to monitor the outcomes of this recent development.

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