A new initiative to decriminalize natural psychedelics made it onto the November ballot in Colorado.
The proposed bill, Initiative 58, would regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of psychedelics such as magic mushrooms, ibogaine, mescaline, and DMT. All sales would be handled through licensed “healing centers,” which would basically be like medical pot dispensaries, but for trippier substances.
The initiative is being spearheaded by a group called Natural Medicine Colorado, led by Veronica Perez and Kevin Matthews. Matthews previously led the campaign to decriminalize the cultivation, possession, and transfer of psilocybin mushrooms in Denver, Colorado’s capital city. However, that city-wide initiative, I-301, did not permit the commercial growing or sales of shrooms. This new bill on the November ballot would, effectively, legalize natural psychedelics statewide.
“The biggest takeaway I hope people understand is that these natural medicines have been used by humans for 10,000 years and in the last 20 to 25 years there has been a significant amount of clinical research at universities like Johns Hopkins and UCLA that really demonstrate the efficacy of natural medicines,” Matthews told the Denver Post in June. “Coloradans deserve access to these incredible healing options really because we’re facing a crisis of mental health in the state right now.”
In fact, it’s not the economy or social justice that’s driving the Initiative 58 campaign. The main driver, at least from a PR sense, is alleviating the state’s mental health crisis. Oregon, the first state to effectively legalize natural psychedelics, used this same argument. However, Initiative 58 also creates a path for social justice regarding prior non-violent offenses for possession and sale of psychedelics.
At the moment, US researchers are studying psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD for treating clinical depression and PTSD. It may be several more years before we see pharmaceutical-grade shroom pills in Walgreens, but given the successes of these FDA-approved trials, it may be inevitable.
Anyway, if you live in Colorado and you aren’t registered to vote, get registered. You’ll have a shot at legalizing these life-saving natural medicines and, perhaps, trigger a wave of legalization across the US as we did with cannabis.
To register to vote in Colorado, click here.
To find your voting location come November, click here.
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