DENVER (KDVR) — Psilocybin, DMT and other psychedelic plants are officially decriminalized in Colorado.
Gov. Jared Polis issued a proclamation on Tuesday about Proposition 122, which passed with nearly 54% of voters in favor. That means Coloradans can have and share psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline in the state — but they’re still Schedule I narcotics and illegal on the federal level.
“Prop. 122 puts the wellbeing of patients and communities first, removing harsh criminal penalties for personal possession and employing a multi-phase implementation process that will allow time to develop an appropriate safety and regulatory structure,” Josh Kappel, who co-authored the proposition and led the campaign, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Voters passed the measure in the Nov. 8 election, but the change was not immediate.
The Colorado Constitution dictates when initiatives actually become law, according to the governor’s proclamation. The will of the voters is not official until the governor declares the majority vote, and that must happen no later than 30 days after the state canvasses the vote.
What Prop 122 does for psychedelics in Colorado
Proposition 122 decriminalizes psychedelic “natural medicine,” including psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline, for people aged 21 and older. Coloradans of age can 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 psychedelics can also file a petition with the courts to have those records sealed.
Kappel said implementation of the law now begins.
“Our goals include creating an accessible and balanced facilitator training system, an effective equity program, a first-of-its-kind ESG screen, and safe access to natural psychedelic therapies,” Kappel said. “In the meantime, adults in Colorado can begin to have more open and honest conversations about these medicines with their doctors. Adults who can benefit from these substances will finally be able to engage in psychedelic therapies without fear of arrest and prosecution.”
Colorado follows Denver on psilocybin decriminalization
A growing body of research links psilocybin and other psychedelics to mental health improvements. “Magic mushrooms” have been used to treat ailments like PTSD in veterans, anxiety and depression in cancer patients and substance use disorders.
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 psychedelics are still Schedule 1 narcotics that are illegal on the federal level.