Voters could have an opportunity to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in Colorado if a group of activists are cleared to start a petition drive.
Nearly two dozen activists from Colorado for Psilocybin met Monday with city officials in Denver, and they’re optimistic they can soon take the next step in legalizing “shrooms,” reported Colorado Public Radio.
The group touted several recent scientific studies showing the medical benefits of using psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, and called for an end to felony charges for possession of the drug.
Under the preliminary proposal that voters may consider, anyone caught with more than 2 ounces of dried mushrooms or 2 pounds of uncured “wet” mushrooms could be cited and fined up to $99 for a first offense, and an additional $100 for subsequent offenses.
Tyler Williams, of the Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative, said marijuana legalization provided a helpful template for their initiative.
“I’m a big believer in cognitive liberty, and so whatever people decide to consume I think is up to them,” Williams said. “I think people should be informed about what they are consuming, and they shouldn’t have to be afraid of going to jail for that.”
Activists cited two studies that found psilocybin helped cancer patients deal with stress on a long-term basis, and other studies found the drug can help patients manage depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s helped me tremendously with my own mental health and on top of that, with creativity, and really being able to just explore different aspects of myself, and really get some healing from the inside out,” said activist Kevin Matthews, who said he was diagnosed with depression as a teenager.
The activists and city officials discussed phrasing for the initiative, and they must next submit the petition materials for review by the Denver Elections Division.
If the petition is approved at that point, then advocates can begin gathering signatures in hopes of placing the measure on November’s ballot.
California voters may consider a similar measure later this year.