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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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: 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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