DENVER (KDVR) — The campaign to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Colorado and set up a regulated framework for their consumption declared victory on Wednesday evening.
More than 1 million votes counted as of 6:10 p.m. were in favor of the measure, or 51.3% of the vote, according to the Associated Press. The AP has not called the race and estimates 86% of the vote has been counted.
The group behind Proposition 122, Natural Medicine Colorado, released a statement projecting the final result is in their favor.
“This is a truly historic moment. Colorado voters saw the benefit of regulated access to natural medicines, including psilocybin, so people with PTSD, terminal illness, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can heal,” said the measure’s co-proponents, Kevin Matthews and Veronica Lightening Horse Perez. “We look forward to working with the regulatory and medical experts and other stakeholders to implement this new law.”
Proposition 122 is designed to decriminalize psychedelic “natural medicine,” including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline, for people age 21 and older. Under the proposal, Coloradans of age could have it, ingest it and cultivate it at home without criminal penalty under state law.
The measure also allows for regulated “healing centers” where people can get and consume psilocybin. And it paves the way for the other listed psychedelics to be allowed under the regulated framework as soon as 2026.
People previously arrested for possession of the drugs could also file a petition with the courts to have those records sealed.
A total of 19 states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults since voters in Colorado and Washington state first approved ballot measures in 2012. The psilocybin measure would again put the state near the forefront of drug decriminalization.
A growing body of research links psilocybin to mental health improvements. Often called “magic mushrooms,” they have been used to treat ailments like PTSD in veterans, anxiety and depression in cancer patients and substance use disorders.
Still, supporters of psychedelic medicine had concerns about the initiative. They worried it would set up a pathway for corporations to profit off of users and did not include enough stakeholders of color to ensure equitable licensing.
Those concerns were heightened by the campaign’s funding source. New Approach PAC is a D.C.-based drug policy group that poured $4.2 million into the Colorado proposition and has funded drug decriminalization efforts around the country for years. Records show New Approach is funded by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Scotts Miracle-Gro and cannabis company Tilray Brands, Inc.
Denver voters already decriminalized psilocybin back in 2019, allowing for the possession and personal cultivation of the fungi. In 2020, Oregon voters legalized it, but the state will not roll out its licensing framework until 2023.
All of the drugs are still Schedule 1 narcotics on the federal level.