Joe Rogan and a couple of youth voters set the stage for decriminalizing mushrooms in Denver and possibly nationwide.
It quickly became apparent that most voters were interested in decriminalizing psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms than the incumbent mayor.
Tallies Are Pouring In Like Fire
The podcaster, comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan posted on Twitter and Instagram,
Denver! Today is the day you have a real chance at decriminalizing mushrooms. If you think this isn’t a big deal, it’s probably because you haven’t experienced what these amazing things can do for human consciousness. You folks have a real shot at getting the ball rolling in this country and opening up the hearts and minds of so many people. Today is a day that can literally change the world. – Joe Rogan –
Communications director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, and one of the biggest endorsers of the initiative, Lance Cayko had expressed his support for decriminalizing mushrooms in Denver.
The decision was approaching fast, Kevin Mathews, campaign manager of the Denver Psylocibin Initiative, along with 200 others were also in favor of decriminalizing magic mushrooms. However, the results weren’t very promising. With only a one-half of one percent difference between yes and no voters, Mathews still had hope as there were still 40,000 voters to be counted.
Kevin Mathews and the rest were onto something, the final decision was looking good. Initiative 301 sought to decriminalize the use and possession of those aged 21 and above by making it the lowest local law enforcement and block the spending on penalties. This decision does not fully legalize the use of magic mushrooms or permit cannabis businesses to sell mushrooms.
The latest tally from the city’s official site had revealed 50.6% of the vote at 89,320 voters in favor and 87,341 against. Mathews called upon the potential mayors letting them know that he plans to push this movement along. The first task was to put together a policy review panel “to assess and report on the effect of the ordinance.”
The mayor’s office had until December 2019 to sort out the decision, but Mathews was eager on speeding things up and planned to work with the Justice Department as magic mushrooms remain illegal under the state and federal law, as well as city officials, the police, and the sheriff’s office. He wants to provide the Justice Department with all the resources they need.
I’ll be lobbying at the Denver city and county buildings, probably starting tomorrow. – Kevin Mathews –
Kevin Mathews was a former west point cadet that was honorably discharged and dealt with major depression. This was especially true after his reality shifted as the army was no longer a viable option for him. After he had a positive experience with magic mushrooms Mathews began a grassroots campaign to get psilocybin decriminalized in the city of Denver.
Mathews measure according to the Denver Post was “likely put over the top” in the final stretches by young voters who likely vote closer to Election Day even though all registered voters received their ballots in the mail three weeks prior.
Psilobyin Showing Promising Results
Psilocybin was creeping popularity in the market as a breakthrough therapy last October. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the psychedelic psilocybin as a breakthrough therapy after a large number of institutions found promising results for the treatment of psychological conditions ranging from depression and PTSD. Research on magic mushrooms has also led to the revolution of a 79-year-old holocaust survivor who found that magic mushrooms helped him overcome his trauma.
The success in Denver was a close call, a triumph that almost failed at the last second, but nonetheless a win is a win. Kevin Mathews had accomplished what no one else in history has done before and has paved a way for the future of decriminalization in the United States.
Psilocybin Effects on Therapy
Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UCLA focused on research with psilocybin on cancer patients facing anxiety as their diagnoses progress. He states that psilocybin shows promising advancements for its potential therapeutic applications. These patients did not respond well to conventional treatments but had astounding progress with psilocybin. The patients that did not respond well to conventional treatments were those diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse problems.
What The Future of The United States May Bring
Mathews did not stop there. He wanted to get this on the ballet and decriminalize magic mushrooms nationwide. He set similar ballot initiatives in 2020 in Oregon. The secretary of state had approved the vote and may decriminalize mushrooms for the use in therapy. California is also working on decriminalizing magic mushrooms.
Noah Potter, a New-York based lawyer, and drug reform expert, who founded and runs the New Amsterdam Psychedelic Law Blog, is the general manager for the NYC Cannabis Parade and served as the chair for the New York Bar Association’s Committee on Drugs and the Law had stated that it was a “50-50 split” on the issue of legalizing mushrooms that have never been put to voters before.
Potter and Mathews worked together to decriminalize mushrooms after Mathews had initially failed to get it approved by the Denver Board of Elections.
Potter had stated that this will encourage organizers and help them recruit and raise money. Psychedelic mushrooms will change the background for all initiatives in the media coverage and could potentially create the opportunity in a more comprehensive, deeper, and holistic coverage of all drug issues.
Potter and Mathews were hopeful as there were no oppositions to the campaign other than that of the incumbent mayors, Michael Hannock and Beth McCann, Denver’s district attorney and top cop, a spokesperson had initially said that she will not back the campaign as they were still in the early stages of legalizing cannabis and could make Denver a magnet for psilocybin users. She did however back the claim that psilocybin can be used to study the effects of psilocybin in therapy.
Jag Davies, director of communications for the pro-reform Drug Policy Alliance stated that
There may not have been that much opposition because psylocybin doesn’t play a major role in the criminal justice system. – Jag Davies –
Kevin Mathews has paved a way into the future and the rest of the country will be looking to him, the city, and the members of the Denver Psilocybin Initiative to implement safety procedures and inform the public on the benefits and procedures. More importantly, it will change the views of people that have stigmatized the idea for decades.
The Oregon initiative had 47% yes voters and 46% no voters, Denver’s results could possibly increase the votes.
Mathews says that America is ready to take a closer look at psilocybin and that users should not be criminalized for possession or use.