Denver Could Become 1st U.S. City to Decriminalize Use of Magic Mushrooms

Denver could become first city to decriminalize magic mushrooms

Denver could become first city to decriminalize magic mushrooms

Forget legalizing marijuana. The new hotness in political circles appears to be decriminalizing magic mushrooms. 

An advocacy group in Denver announced they have submitted nearly 9,500 signatures to place a measure on the ballot in May that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Colorado's capital. If it passes, Denver would become the first U.S. city in the country to decriminalize them. 

Petitions were submitted to the city and county of Denver's Elections Division on Monday by Decriminalize Denver, so that the measure appear on the upcoming ballot. The division now has 25 days to review the signatures. 

"We're at a unique and pivotal time in our nation's history," Decriminalize Denver's website reads. "An estimated 1 in 6 Americans are taking psychiatric medication, and there is a rampant epidemic of prescription drug abuse across the country. The need for powerful, medically-effective alternatives in addition to traditional pharmaceutical interventions is clear to all.

"The bottom line is that no one should face severe criminal penalties for possessing, using, or cultivating a naturally-occurring substance."

The measure wouldn't legalize the sale of magic mushrooms in the Mile High City, but instead would treat possession of the drug by suspects as the lowest law enforcement priority. Under federal law, psychedelic mushrooms are classified as a Schedule I drug, on par with heroin or LSD. That means they have no accepted medical use and a high potential of abuse. 

However, recent studies conducted on the effects of psychedelic mushrooms have shown that active ingredient, psilocybin, is effective at treating a variety of disorders and diseases including; cluster headaches, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and even alcohol and smoking addictions. 

A similar effort to decriminalize mushrooms is also underway in Oregon where supporters are attempting to get the issue on the ballot in time for the 2020 election. 

Photo: Getty Images