Denver voters will decide in May whether to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin, which would make it the first U.S. city to halt prosecution of people caught with psychedelic mushrooms.
The citizen-driven proposal, which election officials said this week reached the required number of signatures to be on the city’s municipal ballot, would not legalize so-called “magic mushrooms,” but rather make them a low priority for law enforcement, according to its language.
Decriminalize Denver, the group behind the ballot question, said the drug has medical benefits that could reduce psychological stress and opioid dependence.
“Nationally, Denver and the state of Colorado have represented the first movers in a revised understanding of the potential benefits of naturally-occurring psychoactive medicines,” the group said on its website.
Some opponents worry that if passed the ordinance would further tarnish the city’s image, given that recreational marijuana is already allowed under Colorado law, and another proposal by the city to create the country’s first safe injection site for intravenous drug users was approved by the city council in November.
“Denver is quickly becoming the illicit drug capitol of the world,” Jeff Hunt, director of the Colorado-based Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank, said in a statement. “High potency pot, proposed needle injection sites, and now an effort to decriminalize mushrooms.”
The safe injection site pilot program would need the approval of the state legislature, which has not yet taken up the issue. Federal authorities have warned that such a facility would be illegal.
Kevin Matthews, 33, campaign director for Decriminalize Denver, said worries about expanded drug use under the measure are unwarranted.
“Nothing on our ballot question would do anything to increase access – it does not allow for distribution and sale,” Matthews told Reuters in a phone interview, adding that mushrooms have helped treat his depression.
Mayor Michael Hancock told the Denver Post that he opposes the mushroom question.
Psilocybin is illegal under both Colorado and federal law. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies the drug as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning the agency has deemed that it has a high potential for abuse and currently has no accepted medical use.
In 2004, Denver voters voted to decriminalize marijuana possession, years before Colorado voters voted to approve its legalization for recreational use and establish a full regulatory framework.
Ex-US marine arrested on espionage charges says injured by Russian prison guards
A former US marine who was arrested in Moscow on espionage charges said Friday he had been injured by guards in the prison where he is being held awaiting trial.
"I was injured in the prison... the prison doesn't want to tell you," Paul Whelan told journalists from a cage in a Moscow court, which was to decide on whether to extend his provisional detention.
Whelan arrived in the court handcuffed and escorted by two security guards wearing black masks and plain clothes.
"You can see the treatment," he said as he entered.
"I am standing here in great pain due to an injury sustained in the prison by the prison guards," he said later from the cage in the courtroom, looking pale.
CEOs are starting to realize that greed isn’t so good after all
Gordon Gekko found religion this week. Gekko, the lead in the 1987 movie “Wall Street” about capitalism gone corruptly amok, is most famous for his phrase: “greed is good.”
On Monday, real-world Gekkos—181 corporate CEOs who belong to the Business Roundtable—signed a pledge saying they think greed isn’t so good, after all.
Instead of bowing at the altar of larger corporate profits to hand out to executives and shareholders, these CEOs declared that corporations must demonstrate some reverence for other stakeholders as well: workers, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment.
Republican who compares gay people to rapists and warns they may ‘harm’ kids running to unseat Democratic senator
Trump-Loving Extremist Gets Backing From Trump Team
A former Republican U.S. Congressman who has a long record of anti-LGBTQ comments and positions is running to unseat a Democratic U.S. Senator. Jason Lewis, who has claimed same-sex parents may harm children announced he is running against Minnesota Democratic Senator Tina Smith.