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DENVER - Denver could become the first U.S city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms if a new measure makes it onto the ballot for the city’s municipal elections in May.
Officials with the campaign Denver for Psilocybin said they have gathered enough signatures -- more than 8,000 -- to put the issue before voters, according to KUSA-TV. The group only needed just under 4,300 to get the issue on the ballot, but Denver’s election office still has to verify the signatures.
“This is a chance for Denver and Colorado to be an example for the rest of the country,” the campaign director for Denver for Psilocybin, Kevin Matthews, told KUSA.
The measure would not legalize magic mushrooms, but decriminalize possession of the drug. It’s based on a 2007 initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession in Denver, the news station reported.
Activists under the name Decriminalize Denver who hope to make #Denver the first U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms moved a step closer to that goal Monday. https://t.co/DdPIdBhDq5 via @JonMurray— Aspen Times (@TheAspenTimes) January 8, 2019
We’re not talking about a regulatory framework, we’re not talking about a recreational framework at all,” Matthews said.
The measure calls for treating possession of the drug by people 21 and older as the “lowest law enforcement priority” and prohibit the prosecution of cases related to mushroom possession.
There’s also a mushroom measure underway in Oregon, but that proposal would legalize the drug.
The government classifies psychedelic mushrooms as a Schedule 1 drug, the same as LSD and heroin.