Magic mushrooms decriminalised in Denver | US News
Denver has become the first US city to decriminalise psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms.
A public vote on Tuesday returned a slim 51% majority in favour of changing the law.
The mushrooms are still technically illegal but people aged 21 or older are now extremely unlikely to be prosecuted for using or possessing the mushrooms.
Police and prosecutors will treat possession of psilocybin as the lowest priority.
The city decriminalised cannabis possession in 2005 and the rest of Colorado in 2012 – a move that has since been followed by other US states.
“I think today’s outcome really demonstrates that the conversation is going to continue, and the world is ready for it,” said Cindy Sovine, a strategist for the campaign to decriminalise the drug.
“Psychedelics are already here. Now we can start to have the conversation about using them mindfully… We’re not talking about legalisation, we’re talking about not putting people in jail,” she added.
Psilocybin has been illegal in America since the 1960s but some studies in recent years have found positive effects on anxiety and depression for cancer patients.
Campaigners also say it can help with post-traumatic stress and other conditions.
As well as recreational use, magic mushrooms have also long been used in some religious practices because of their strong effect on perception and spiritual experience.
A campaign to to decriminalise psilocybin in California failed to qualify for a vote in 2018 but campaigners in Oregon are hoping for a vote next year.
Magic mushrooms are a class A drug in the UK – on a par with heroin and crack cocaine.
Possession can mean up to seven years in prison, supplying the drug carries the possibility of a life sentence.