The Mile High City is seeking to take a step into the next level by becoming the first U.S. city to legalize hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to reports.
Denverites were set to vote on decriminalizing the possession and use of “magic mushrooms” in a Tuesday ballot measure, KMBC reported.
The proposed ordinance seeks to “deprioritize, to the greatest extent possible” the criminal penalties for “the personal use and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms.” The proposal adds that it would “prohibit the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties” on people possessing the mushrooms.
Psilocybin, the naturally occurring hallucinogenic in certain mushrooms, is currently designated as a Schedule I controlled substance, so the possession of “magic mushrooms” is currently illegal.
For years, scientists have maintained that there are no medicinal properties to the mushrooms. However, some recent research has suggested that psilocybin may be effective in treating some forms of depression.
The group behind the decriminalizing effort, Decriminalize Denver, insists that magic mushrooms are entirely natural and essentially harmless. “Humans have used these mushrooms for thousands of years for healing, rites of passage, spiritual insight, strengthening community, and raising consciousness,” the group says on its website.
In January, the group was able to collect over 9,500 signatures to get the measure added to the ballot.
But Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and District Attorney Beth McCann both oppose the proposal. McCann notes that very few people have ever been charged with possession of the mushrooms, and so the proposal is seeking to fix something that isn’t broken.
“Between 2016 and 2018, her office referred only 11 of the more than 9,000 drug cases involving psilocybin for possible prosecution. Prosecutors filed charges of possession with intent to manufacture or distribute in three of those cases,” Fox News reported.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.