Listen: Denver residents vote on whether to decriminalize 'magic mushrooms'
"Give us the one. Oh, one on magic mushrooms is still assignment mushrooms or psychedelics that can cause loosen Asians and along with several other psychedelics. They were made federally illegal in nineteen seventy souls Ibon is a schedule one drug. So that's the same classification as heroin and cocaine, obviously, some people who use them or using them wreck your recreationally, but there's also been quite a bit of research in the last couple of decades into their potential medical use specifically for mental illness and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Does warn though that large amounts of slow Siping can cause panic attacks in psychosis. And that an overdose can be deadly. Now this initiative that's on the ballot today. Invent Denver doesn't actually legalize the mushrooms. The goal is just to d- prioritize to the greatest extent possible. The criminal penalties for using. And possessing the mushrooms how how would that work, right? The municipal election, obviously, can't change state or federal law. So. So the ballot measure if it passes it will still be illegal to possess or use like Delic mushrooms but this initiative could reduce drug arrests. So essentially at a directs law enforcement to focus his attention on every other crime, including jaywalking before it enforces laws that make magic mushrooms illegal. Jaywalking would be a higher priority. Interesting where did this initiative come from? What's the argument in favor of it? So the group campaigning for this measure is called decriminalized Denver, and they try to get the measure on the ballot last year and failed. But this year, they got the signatures they needed so they're pointing to potential medical benefits and the FDA granted so's I've been based treatment for depression breakthrough therapy status. That's a process that expedites the development and review of new treatment. Johns hopkins. Researchers also found some evidence that suicide and could help treat some forms of anxiety and depression and the campaign manager, Kevin Matthews actually, credits solicitation with saving his life. When he struggled with depression. So people are pointing to those to the potential meta medical benefits is what they're. Rounding their campaign, and what about the opposition dippers mayor Michael Hancock opposes about initiative beyond that there's not much if any vocal opposition coming out of Denver. The public had the opportunity to submit comments on the ballot initiative and no one submitted a common against it. Probably the most prominent opposition voice has been this intense institute, and that's Colorado Christian university think tank based in Lakewood, Colorado, and that's just west of Denver and Jefferson County, and they're concerned about safety as well as the area's reputation as sort of drug haven is there any indication of whether this is gonna pass today. People in favor of the measure have certainly been more vocal than those opposed. And we know that the decriminalize Denver group got more than five thousand validated signatures from city residents to get the question on the ballot. But more than seven hundred thousand people live in the city of Denver. So whether or not they've gathered enough momentum for the initiative to pass. I don't think we can say until we see the results and up avenue. The reason that everybody is paying attention to this so closely today's because Colorado is one of the first states where Merrill. Wanna became legal? And now that has happened to all across this country. People are wondering whether this idea of decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms is going to become something that other states do right? And there's definitely interest in other states. The Republican lawmaker in Iowa recently proposed a Bill to legalize slow Sivan for medical use inter move it from I was list of controlled substances in a group in California tried to get a criminalization on their question on their ballot in two thousand eighteen but they didn't get enough signatures. So whether or not it's gaining traction. It's certainly has some interest that is Avery Lil from Colorado public radio as we wait to see what voters in Denver decide today that could be the first city to decriminalize the use of hallucinogenic"