Coloradans voted to legalize psilocybin. What’s next?

It will be years before Colorado’s new system for the legal use of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs is fully in place. 

But some significant changes are set to arrive by early next year, and Gov. Jared Polis has pledged to oversee a smooth implementation of the measure, which voters approved on Election Day.

“When the people pass things, it’s my responsibility as governor to deliver on them, whether I agreed with them or not,” said Polis, who stayed neutral on the proposal, in a post-election interview. 

“And of course, we’ll likely need some enabling legislation to set it up in a way that prevents any negative consequences and honors the will of the voters,” he continued.

The process will begin with changes to drug laws, followed within the next couple years by the creation of licensed centers where people can use psilocybin.

Keep reading at cpr.org

What to know about Indiana’s ‘magic mushroom’ laws

INDIANA, USA — Last week, Colorado became the second state to legalize the recreational use of magic mushrooms in the U.S., in a move that reflects their growing popularity across the country. But how soon could there be a similar measure in Indiana? 

“Magic mushroom” is a catchall term for any species of fungi that causes psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects. They contain two psychoactive properties — psilocybin and psilocin. Those interact with the five senses and cause hallucinations. 

They are illegal throughout much of the world, but that’s slowly starting to change in the United States. Both Oregon and Washington D.C. decriminalized their use, as did certain parts of Michigan. 

Colorado voters’ decision to largely decriminalize their use comes as multiple studies tout potential benefits of consuming so-called magic mushrooms to cure ailments like existential anxiety, aid in end-of-life care and post traumatic stress disorder. 

Keep reading at wthr.com

The use of psilocybin is on the ballot again for many Oregon voters

In the spring, Christopher Maddox flew to Mexico to get help. The former Navy SEAL had been suffering from PTSD and substance use disorder for years. At one point, he was on 13 medications. He tried a variety of therapies, but none of them worked.

“It still didn’t really fix the root cause. And the root cause was I hated myself, and I was helpless. I didn’t think there was any way out of it,” he said.

A friend connected him with a treatment center in Mexico that does psilocybin therapy. In April, he flew south for a five-day retreat that included taking seven ounces of the psychedelic mushrooms under the oversight of a coach. He said it was life-changing.

Read the full story at opb.org

Vancouver mushroom dispensaries continue to operate in legal grey area

An assortment of stores in Vancouver continue to openly sell certain substances and plants in a manner that might land you in jail if you were in many other parts of the world.

Psilocybin mushrooms are generally the main retail item in these new dispensaries, but one is even carrying more powerful psychoactive compounds like LSD or DMT.

That store also has peyote, a psychoactive cactus known to be valued by Indigenous cultures for its consciousness-altering properties and spiritual significance.

In a statement from Dana Larsen, owner of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary and Coca Leaf Cafe on East Hastings Street, he explained how it was possible for his store to function without being shut down or having any serious legal troubles.

Larsen’s shop openly sells an assortment of psychedelic substances and plants along with coca leaf products derived from a plant known for its role in producing cocaine.

Keep reading at Mugglehead

Colorado voters are against legalizing magic mushrooms, according to poll

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado voters appear to draw the line at legal marijuana, according to a new poll.

Most voters don’t support legalizing psychedelics, although there is a large segment of voters who haven’t made up their minds, according to a FOX31/Channel 2/Emerson College/The Hill poll. 

Proposition 122 would decriminalize and regulate the distribution of the psychedelic fungi psilocybin, or magic mushrooms. It would also open the door to decriminalizing the psychedelics dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine and mescaline in a few years.

Among all voters, 41% said they would oppose the ballot measure if they could vote on it right now. A narrowly smaller portion of 36% of all voters said they would support it. About 23% of voters said they are unsure.

Keep reading at kdvr.com

Legalizing psychedelic mushrooms is on the Colorado ballot this fall. Here’s what the supporters, the opponents and the data have to say

When Denver resident Connie Boyd found out Coloradans will vote on whether to legalize psychoactive mushrooms this fall, she felt incredibly angry — and worried.

“My fear is that (Colorado is) going to legalize mushrooms and 10 years from now, there’s going to be a bunch of really sick people,” she said. “And the state 10 years from now is going to say: ‘Oh, gee, we’re sorry.’”

Boyd voted for cannabis legalization a decade ago. But her views changed after her son — a star athlete and student — reacted badly to trying edibles, an experience she said triggered lasting consequences.

“He had a severe psychotic episode,” she said. “At the age of 29, he was living in a nursing home for people with schizophrenia. It’s a very sad thing.” 

Read more at cpr.org

Who’s behind Colorado’s magic mushrooms campaign?

Colorado could become the second state in the country to legalize and regulate the market for psilocybin and psilocin, the psychedelic ingredient found in so-called “magic mushrooms” – thanks to a Washington, D.C.-based group that has been pouring in millions of dollars to support ballot measures in Colorado.

Behind the Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022 is an entity called New Approach PAC. Based in the nation’s capital, the group has put more than $3 million into ballot measures in Colorado in the last two years.

The PAC, for example, contributed $250,000 to the 2020 paid family leave initiative. The rest of its money went to the campaign committee Natural Medicine Colorado, which is pushing Initiative 58, which claims that magic mushrooms would be a tool to address mental health issues.

Keep reading at Colorado Politics

First Cannabis, Are Magic Mushrooms Next?

Since the wave of marijuana legalization and decriminalization that swept the country in recent years, employers have grown concerned about whether employees are working while high on cannabis. Now they have something else to worry about: Are your workers under the influence of small doses of hallucinogens?

The spreading practice is called microdosing and consists of a person taking small fractional doses of these psychoactive drugs. Supposedly, these doses are not enough to soar into the stratosphere on what used to be quaintly called a trip, but just enough to be high while still being capable of functioning while at work and even driving—at least that is supposed to be the case.

Read the full story at EHS Today

5 States Likely To Legalize Psychedelics

This article was originally published on Psychedelic Spotlight and appears here with permission.

As psychedelics continue to gain mainstream acceptance, these 5 states have started the process to legalize psychedelics

Across the USA –as scientific evidence grows that psychedelics such as psilocybin are not only safe to consume, but also can be effective in improving mental health— states have begun the process needed to decriminalize or even legalize psychedelics for both personal consumption and for use in psychedelic healing therapy centers.

In this article, we are walking through 5 States that are Likely to Legalize Psychedelics in the Near Future.

Read the full story at benzinga.com

First pot, then magic mushrooms? Decriminalization is spreading

As cannabis legalization spreads across the globe, another mind-altering drug is trying to follow in its tracks: magic mushrooms.

Denver voted in May to decriminalize the fungus that contains psilocybin, a psychedelic compound popularized by ’60s counterculture. Oakland, California followed Denver’s lead a few weeks later and Oregon is trying to get a similar measure on the ballot for 2020.

Advocates say mushrooms have untapped medical potential that could be as big as cannabis, particularly for treating depression and addiction. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted “breakthrough therapy” status in October to Compass Pathways Ltd. to test the drug for treatment-resistant depression, expediting the development process. The London-based company says it’s now proceeding with a large-scale clinical trial in Europe and North America.

Read more at BNN Bloomberg

Dispensaries selling illegal magic mushrooms in Vancouver could lead to the legalization of the substance, like they did with cannabis, shop keeper says

  • It’s not legal to sell psilocybin or “shrooms” in Canada, but one activist shop owner does anyway.
  • He’s trying to push Vancouver to manage or legalize it, as cannabis sellers did in 2015.
  • “If you’re like me, and you’re willing to take a risk and kind of push it forward, you find the resistance isn’t very strong,” he told Insider.

Psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms or “shrooms,” is not allowed to be sold under Canadian federal law, but that hasn’t stopped some Vancouver store owners from selling it anyway.

“There’s not a strong resistance to people doing this kind of stuff. If you’re like me, and you’re willing to take a risk and kind of push it forward, you find the resistance isn’t very strong,” Dana Larsen, the owner of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary, told Insider.

Read more at Business Insider

How ‘magic mushrooms’ could follow in the footsteps of cannabis

What was something of a taboo issue half a decade ago is now the subject of bills from both Republicans and Democrats in more than a dozen states. They range from proposals to study the medical benefits of psychedelics to bills that would allow adults to consume such drugs under supervision.

“It’s gone viral and sparked an interest nationwide,” said Democratic Washington state Sen. Jesse Salomon, who is sponsoring a bill that would allow psilocybin use among adults over age 21 under supervision. “I just didn’t know there were so many like-minded people on this.”

Oregon led the nation when voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 to legalize and regulate psilocybin therapy, alongside another decriminalizing drug possession more broadly.

Read the full story at Politico

Making Mushrooms Legal

In November 2020, voters in Oregon passed a pair of historic drug policy ballot measures. The first was Measure 110, a proposal to decriminalize low-level drug possession, with 58 percent in favor; the second was Measure 109, a proposal to grant legal access to psilocybin (the psychoactive component in magic mushrooms) for mental health treatment, with 56 percent in favor. It was an unprecedented turn of events in drug policy. But as always in the United States, businessmen were waiting in the wings. 

Compass Pathways, a biotech firm backed by the right-wing Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, had been preparing for a “psychedelic revolution” and the subsequent investor windfall, accumulating patents here and abroad for its synthesized formulation of psilocybin and its use in therapy.

Keep reading at The Nation

California Activists Drop 2022 Psilocybin Legalization Ballot Initiative After Falling Short Of Signature Requirement

California activists on Wednesday announced that they have come up short on collecting enough signatures to qualify a measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for the state’s November ballot, though they aren’t giving up on a future election cycle bid.

Decriminalize California was first cleared by the state’s attorney general’s officeto begin signature gathering in September, giving them 180 days to collect 623,212 valid signatures from registered voters. On an all-volunteer basis, the group collected about 46 percent of those signatures, but that was pre-validation, meaning a significant portion would likely have been deemed invalid for one reason or another.

“We were doing great there collecting and then in mid-December just about everyone of our core volunteers got COVID and most of the events we were scheduled at either closed, postponed or had an extremely weak turnout,” campaign manager Ryan Munevar said in an e-mail blast to supporters.

Read the full story at Marijuana Movement

Oregon drafting rules for magic mushroom legalization

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon has released draft rules for the therapeutic use of psilocybin, commonly called magic mushrooms.

Voters approved Measure 109 in November of 2020, giving the state two years to set up the framework to regulate legal magic mushrooms in the state, The Oregonian/OregonLive reports.

Researchers believe psilocybin could help treat depression, PTSD and addiction, and Oregon’s system would allow for consumption of the substance in a therapeutic setting for anyone 21 years or older. No prescription or diagnosis would be required to take part in the program.

The rules released last week by the Oregon Health Authority are not complete and are not yet adopted, but they give a glimpse into what the program might look like.

The draft rules deal with how training programs for those administering psilocybin will be evaluated and credentialed, what the psilocybin itself will be and how that substance will be tested.

Read more at The Lewiston Tribune.

Maine could legalize ‘magic mushroom’ drug to treat depression

He’s been struggling with depression for nearly 20 years. Traditional antidepressants weren’t working.

Losing hope of being cured, he began researching alternative treatments. That’s when he read about psilocybin, the hallucinogenic drug found in “magic mushrooms,” and how it was emerging as a promising treatment for major depressive disorder.

In 2015, he took the leap. Because psilocybin is an illegal drug, he had to be discreet. He secured the psychedelic fungus from black market sources, then found people he trusted to stay with him and guide him through the experience. He lay down, put on a blindfold and headphones playing music, and embarked on an inward journey.

“There’s no words to explain it,” said the 43-year-old man, whose first name is Patrick. The newspaper agreed to not use his full name or identify him because the drug is illegal and he fears criminal enforcement.

Get the full story at pressherald.com

Global Coalition Launches Push To Reschedule Psilocybin Under International Rules

A new global coalition announced a new campaign on Tuesday to get psilocybin mushrooms internationally rescheduled.

As the psychedelics reform movement continues to expand domestically in the U.S., the International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative (ITPRI) is seeking a worldwide policy change in order to facilitate research into the therapeutic potential of the substance.

Partners of the coalition include the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Beckley Foundation, Mind Medicine Australia, Drug Science and Open Foundation.

The initiative focuses on international drug scheduling under the United Nations’s 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which currently places psilocybin in the most tightly restricted, Schedule I category, which is supposed to be reserved for drugs  that constitute “an especially serious risk” and have “limited” therapeutic uses.

Advocates say that psilocybin fits neither of those criteria.

Read the full story at Marijuana Moment.

New Bill Introduced In Washington State Would Legalize Psilocybin, Magic Mushrooms

The legislation echoes a program launched in 2020 by neighboring Oregon, where a ballot bill allowed for the creation of a state-licensed psilocybin therapy program which is now in the final stages of its two-year set-up period.

Adding to a wave of psychedelics legalization measures that are sweeping across the American Northwest, lawmakers in Washington State introduced a bill that would create a state-licensed program to provide medical treatment with psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms.

The Psilocybin Wellness and Opportunity Act would legalize “supported psilocybin experiences” for adults 21 and older, who would be allowed to consume products containing psilocybin and psilocin, under the support of a trained and state-licensed service administrator, Marijuana Moment reported.

The Fresh Toast has the full story.

‘Magic mushroom’ drug psilocybin edges toward mainstream therapy

Tony Head was depressed and fearing death from stage 4 prostate cancer when, as part of a supervised scientific trial, he took a large dose of the psychedelic agent in “magic mushrooms,” psilocybin.

Head donned a mask and headphones to shut out the world around him, and had an experience that changed the course of his life.

“At some point in that time I felt like a higher power or something — I didn’t see anything, I didn’t see any type of image — I felt like something connected and touched me and as soon as it did, I just started crying,” Head, an award-nominated actor who lives in New York City, said in an interview with HealthDay Now.

He said the one-time therapy helped relieve much of the anxiety surrounding his prognosis.

Read more at upi.com

Is Denver’s Psilocybin Decriminalization Having an Impact?

In May 2019, by popular vote, Denver became the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin. A naturally occurring psychedelic found in certain mushrooms, psilocybin is currently a Schedule I narcotic under federal law.

Voters approved Initiative 301 (I-301), better-known as “Decriminalize Denver,” which stated that personal possession, use and cultivation of psilocybin (no specified amount) would be the “lowest law enforcement priority.” The sale and purchase of psilocybin is still illegal, but the bill prohibits police and prosecutors from using any public funding to prosecute those charges. The initiative took effect immediately.

It also required the city to create a psilocybin policy review board comprising local officials, law enforcement, scientific experts and advocates.

“In the past two years since this passed, the sky has not fallen,” Decriminalize Denver Campaign Director and psilocybin review board member Kevin Matthews told Filter.

Keep reading at Filter.