You must be trippin'

You must be trippin'

Fans of the more psychedelic side of life, rejoice. An initiative to legalize hallucinogenic mushrooms in the state of Colorado will be on this November’s ballot after receiving enough signatures from residents. 

The “Natural Medicine Health Act” would legalize the possession, growth and exchange of mushrooms with psilocybin and psilocin (the compounds that make you feel like you’re melting into the Earth while listening to t­he Grateful Dead for far too long). It would not, however, legalize retail sales. 

Instead, NMHA would allow for “healing centers” where mushrooms could be given out by licensed facilitators. As a result, if the act passes, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies would have to create a training and licensing system so employees in these facilities would be permitted to administer mushrooms (not to be confused with spiritual guides). The act would only apply to people 21 and older. 

“We put a lot of work into designing a measure with thoughtful guardrails that has the potential to help bring relief to so many people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other challenges,”  Kevin Matthews, of the NMHA campaign, told Westword.

It’s true, the health benefits of psychedelic mushrooms are increasingly becoming mainstream, with more and more people “microdosing” – using small amounts of psilocybin to help with mental health issues without the hallucinogenic high. It’s also seen as a possible alternative to prescription drugs. Though, it must be said, the benefits have not been scientifically proven and studies are ongoing.

On top of that, proponents say shrooms should not be regulated as a hard drug and have all kinds of benefits. I mean, look at Green Bay Packers QB and local State Farm rep Aaron Rodgers, who went public that he is a fan of magic mushrooms all while winning back-to-back MVPs (though no Super Bowls since 2011; suck it Cheeseheads!) 

At the same time, a separate petition – Initiative 61 – that would have decriminalized, instead of legalized, magic mushrooms failed to receive enough signatures to qualify for the November election. Proponents of Initiative 61 said it was too soon to outright legalize mushrooms with the jury still out on health impacts. 

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, however, said this week Initiative 61 received just 5,001 signatures, far below the required 124,632 needed to be placed on the ballot. 

So it looks like Coloradans are faced with an all or nothing choice: legalize our fungi friends, or keep the status quo. As for us, we’re already buying our Laser Floyd tickets. 

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