12 May, 2019
The no-votes seemed to have had it on election night, but final results released by the Denver Elections Division a little after 4 p.m. Wednesday show the yes-votes ahead by about 2,000.
But Mr Matthews' group Decriminalise Denver, which was behind the initiative, argued that certain mushrooms "may be helpful in the treatment of cluster headaches, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] and OCD [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder]".
"This is not something you have to take every day", the 33-year-old Denver native said. "It provides a lot of lasting benefits, months and weeks after one encounter". Psilocybin mushrooms remain a Schedule 1 substance. The ban stymied medical research, but small studies in recent years have found the substance had positive effects on anxiety and depression for cancer patients. Consumers have described experiencing emotions and spiritual connections, and seeing colors and geometric patterns.
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Mushrooms have been used in religious practices for decades due to their effect on experiences that were religious and senses.
Those same effects have appealed to recreational users dating to the 1960s counterculture movement.
A California effort to decriminalize psilocybin failed to qualify for the statewide ballot in 2018. Organizers in OR are now trying to collect enough support to put an initiative to a vote. According to The Denver Post, director Jeff Hunt boasted, "Voters took an important step back from embracing yet another illicit drug".
The support campaign, Decriminalize Denver, collected 5,559 valid signatures for the initiative and submitted them in January 2019. Matthews said they would not have been available in the city's cannabis dispensaries and should still be used carefully. "Just being able to vote for this is a huge victory". The larger issue here is not good for our city. "At the very least, we've demonstrated that we can get psilocybin legislation on the ballot".
The proposed ordinance would avoid city funds from being used generate a panel to study the impacts of the shift and to pursue criminal penalties on use or possession.