As the nation’s opinions about marijuana continue to shift, the city of Denver — the first city to legalize the substance — has called the status of another natural drug into question.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been decriminalized in the city of Denver, Colorado after a recent vote. Now, California residents are wondering if their state is next.
What happened in Denver
Some confusion has risen about the status of magic mushrooms in Colorado. The recent vote did not legalize psilocybin mushrooms in the state of Colorado or the city of Denver. These drugs have simply been decriminalized in the city of Denver, Colorado.
That means they’re still illegal and Americans can still face repercussions for having them. However, Initiative 301 has deprioritized these penalties “to the greatest extent possible” for those who use and/or possess the mushrooms.
Similarly, law enforcement is prohibited from spending resources to impose criminal penalties on those who possess this drug.
Shroom status in America
Psilocybin mushrooms are considered a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. This classifies the drug as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.
However, marijuana is also classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, despite being recognized for its medicinal properties in 33 states.
Many people are suspect of whether psilocybin mushrooms, another natural substance, may also have medicinal properties. Recent studies in other countries have suggested that “microdoses” of the substance may treat anxiety and depression and improve convergent thinking skills. However, researchers are blocked from testing the drug in the U.S. due to its legality.
California follows Denver’s lead
California activists have followed Denver’s lead by creating an initiative to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in the upcoming 2020 ballot. Activists in Oregon are also forming a similar proposal.
However, currently, simple possession of psilocybin mushrooms (amounts up to 200 grams) can result in a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000. These penalties may vary depending on the circumstances.
As opinions and laws around psychedelics continue to change, negotiations around drug charges can be made more easily. If you or someone you know is facing drug charges, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with this changing political climate.