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Magic mushroom vote still too close to call, but legalization seems likely

Magic mushroom legalization likely but still too close to call
Magic mushroom legalization likely but still too close to call 02:17

UPDATE: Colorado voters decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms

The margin for mushrooms in Colorado was still too close to call by Wednesday evening, but preliminary numbers suggested Prop 122 would likely pass, making Colorado the second state to legalize the psychedelic drug.

If it passes, the measure will decriminalize possession right away. It doesn't mean people can sell or buy the drug, but it would mean anyone 21 and older could grow and share psychedelic mushrooms.

It would also create state-regulated centers where people could make appointments to consume psilocybin, the hallucination-inducing compound derived from psychedelic mushrooms, but it would be two years before any of these facilities could administer the drug.

A Natural Medicine Advisory Board would have to come up with recommendations for a regulatory framework and the Department of Regulatory Affairs would have to approve and implement it.  

"We're still kinda figuring out all the rules and the regulations. All that takes time and years for sure, but eventually, between me and my partner it will probably be a big part of our practice on a daily basis," said Dr. Adam Graves.

Graves, a naturopath and licensed acupuncturist, runs Colorado Natural Medicine in Castle Rock. He believes his patients should have choices. When traditional medicine can't help with mental health issues for instance, he believes psilocybin is a safe and effective alternative.   

"What psychedelics specifically Psilocybin can do can do is shift those brain patterns so they create new patterns so then you can get unstuck from the mental health wheel in your head," said Graves.

While psilocybin isn't legal on a federal level, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has designated it a breakthrough drug for research purposes. That's where opponents believe it should stay.

"My biggest concern would be once we legalize things it makes kids and young adults think it's safe," says Reinfeld, executive director of Blue Rising Together. The non-profit has taken on the marijuana industry over the impact of high-potency pot.

Reinfeld says mushrooms may be worse. One big difference between the legalization of mushrooms and marijuana is that local governments couldn't block mushroom facilities from opening like they do dispensaries.

"If there is medicinal purposes, let's let science determine that, let's do trials, let's do research," says Reinfeld.

Graves believe the evidence is there- he says using data from marijuana is another way he has tried to understand the potential impacts of legalizing psilocybin.

"We look at cannabis legalization and the use on that and what we've seen out of the University of Washington is that cannabis use, in youth especially, has actually gone down after legalization. So that's what I would predict with Prop 122," said Graves.

He said there is no evidence to show psilocybin has addictive properties which is another benefit he sees with using it for treatment.

"We have one or two doses that are changing people's anxiety and depression for years," he said.

Until he has the ability to introduce psilocybin into his practice, the passage of Prop 122 means he can at least begin educating his patients.

"I can actually talk about it with clients cause over the years I've been getting tons of questions and it's hard to navigate," said Graves. "It's a game-changer for people's mental health."

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