DENVER (CBS4) - Denver voters will have the chance to create historic precedence this May. The Denver Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative group has gotten enough valid signatures to put a question on the ballot to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.
The group needed 4,726 signatures to make it on the ballot. Of the 8,524 submitted, 5,559 were valid, meaning the issue will be up to Denver voters in the May 7, 2019 election. If the move is passed, Denver would be the first city in the United States to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.
"I don't think that people should be criminalized or looked upon differently because they are required to take something that can make them feel this much better," said a 54-year-old patient currently using psilocybin mushrooms. He asked CBS4 only identify him by "Chris" in a previous interview.
The initiative would make the use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms by adults 21 and older the lowest law-enforcement priority and prevent the city from using resources to impose penalties. It does not differentiate between the medical and recreational use of mushrooms. But it does specify the drug could not be sold, only grown by users.
Opponents say they're ready to fight this ballot measure.
"This is a serious problem, Denver is quickly becoming the illicit drug capitol of the world. When you look at all the things that we're dealing with, you have high potency pot, you have proposals for supervised needle infection sights," said Jeff Hunt, Vice President of Public Policy at Colorado Christian University and Director the Centennial Institute
He worries that decriminalization will only be the start, and once it's passed supporters will want more.
"The psychedelic mushroom folks are following the same playbook that marijuana did. They're starting with decriminalization and then they're going to move on to commercialization," he told CBS4.
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