Enough Signatures Submitting in Denver to Put Magic Mushrooms Initiative on November Ballot

Proponents of an initiative to decriminalize the possession and use of magic mushrooms in Denver have submitted enough signatures to put the measure to a vote of the people.

The group Decriminalize Denver submitted over 8,000  signatures today for their initiative, well more than the 4,726 required to make the November general election ballot. However, the Denver Election Division must now verify that enough of the 8,000+ signatures are valid (from registered Denver voters) before the measure can be officially placed on the ballot; they have 25 days to do so.

The proposal would make psilocybin mushrooms (A.K.A “magic mushrooms” – psilocybin is the psychoactive ingredient found within them) the lowest law enforcement priority for those 21 and older, similar to what Seattle did for cannabis in 2009 (three years prior to cannabis being legalized). More importantly, the initiative would prohibit the city – including law enforcement – from using any funds to impose penalties on those who use and possess personal amounts of psilocybin.

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Denver Initiative Would Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms

A group called Colorado for Psilocybin is attempting to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms in Denver.

The group is working to place the Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative on Denver’s general election ballot. The proposal would decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of dried mushrooms, or two pounds of uncured mushrooms. Possessing more than this would be a simple citation, with the fee being up to $99 for the first offense. This would be increased by increments of $100 for subsequent offenses; the initiative clarifies that the fine would never be above $999.

“I’m a big believer in cognitive liberty, and so whatever people decide to consume I think is up to them,” says Tyler Williams, who’s co-founder of the Denver chapter of the Psychedelic Club at the University of Colorado Boulder. “I think people should be informed about what they are consuming, and they shouldn’t have to be afraid of going to jail for that.”

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Oregon Group Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms

A group called the Oregon Psilocybin Society is putting together an initiative that would legalize the medical use of magic mushrooms. 

“It enhances creativity, it enhances openness,” says Tom Eckhert, who founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society with his wife Cheri Eckhert. The two have spent the past two years creating an initiative that would legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms for medical purposes. The two expect the issue to be put to a vote of the people by 2020.

“We envision a very regulated production center that the state keeps track of inventory and things of that nature, so we know that it’s not getting out where it shouldn’t be getting out to,” says Chris. If he and his wife are successful in putting the forthcoming measure to a vote, and it’s passed into law, Oregon would become the first state to legalize magic mushrooms for any use.

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California Initiative Would Legalize Magic Mushrooms

Proponents of a California initiative to legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms have been cleared by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures.

Psilocybin mushrooms.

Advocates of the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative (Initiative 17-0024) are aiming to place the initiative on the 2018 general election. To do so, they must collect signatures from 365,880 registered California voters by the end of April.

If placed on the ballot and passed into law by voters, the initiative – introduced by Marina mayoral candidate Kevin Saunders – would eliminate all criminal penalties associated with magic mushrooms for those 21 and older. This includes removing penalties for “possessioin, sale, transport and cultivation of psilocybin”. If approved, California would become the first state in the U.S. to legalize magic mushrooms.

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Study: Those Who Use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Crimes

Consumers of psychedelics drugs such as magic mushrooms are less likely to commit various crimes, according to a new study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

“Some evidence suggests classic psychedelics may inhibit criminal behavior, but the extent of these effects has not been comprehensively explored”, states the study’s abstract. “In this study, we tested the relationships of classic psychedelic use and psilocybin use per se with criminal behavior among over 480,000 United States adult respondents pooled from the last 13 available years of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 through 2014) while controlling for numerous covariates.”

Lifetime classic psychedelic use “was associated with a reduced odds of past year larceny/theft, past year assault, past year arrest for a property crime , and past year arrest for a violent crime.” In contrast, “lifetime illicit use of other drugs was, by and large, associated with an increased odds of these outcomes. Lifetime classic psychedelic use, like lifetime illicit use of almost all other substances, was associated with an increased odds of past year drug distribution.”

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Studies: Magic Mushrooms Reduce Depression and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

By Kai Kupferschmidt, Science Magazine (republished with special permission)

Psilocybin ("magic") mushrooms.
Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

Could a psychedelic drug help people who are dying of cancer face their fears? Two long awaited studies suggest that the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, could do just that. “They are the most rigorous double-blind placebo-controlled trials of a psychedelic drug in the past 50 years,” writes David Nutt, a pharmacologist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the work, in an editorial accompanying the papers.

Both studies, published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, combined a psychedelic trip with several sessions of psychotherapy. In one, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 51 cancer patients received two doses of the drug 5 weeks apart, one relatively high and one so low that it was unlikely to have any effect. In the second study, at New York University (NYU), 29 cancer patients randomly received either psilocybin or niacin, a compound that mimics some side effects of psilocybin—including a flushed, hot feeling—but without the hallucinogenic properties. Seven weeks later, the patients received the other compound.

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Study: Psychedelic Drugs May Treat Anxiety, Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A psilocybin, or "magic", mushroom.
A psilocybin, or “magic”, mushroom.

By Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter

In a carefully controlled setting, psychedelic drugs such as LSD or “magic mushrooms” may benefit patients with hard-to-treat anxiety, addiction or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research suggests.

The finding comes from a review of small-scale and preliminary studies conducted recently in the United States, Canada and Europe, all of which await follow-up.

These preliminary results show that “in the right context, these drugs can help people a lot, especially people who have disorders that we generally treat poorly, such as end-of-life distress, PTSD, and addiction issues involving tobacco or alcohol,” said study co-author Matthew Johnson. Johnson is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

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Study: Prohibition on Psychedelics a Violation of Human Rights, Their Use not a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems

A psilocybin mushroom, which produces a hallucinogenic response when consumed.
A psilocybin mushroom, which produces a hallucinogenic response when consumed.

A study of over 130,000 adults, published this month by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has found that the use of psychedelics such as LSD and magic mushrooms is not a risk factor for mental health problems. Researchers conclude that the prohibition on such drugs is difficult to justify, and is a violation against human rights.

Using a data set consisting of 135,095 randomly selected United States adults, including 19,299 psychedelic users, researchers examined “the associations between psychedelic use and mental health.”

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