by Dan Bondarchuk, staff writer
…at least not yet.
While Colorado continues on this progressive trajectory of legalizing and decriminalizing different substances, it’s important to note that this does not mean a free-for-all for the public.
So what does it mean?
On May 7th of 2019, The city of Denver, Colorado decriminalized the possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms and discouraged the use of public resources on enforcing the related penalties Upon majority approval (50.64%) Initiated Ordinance 301 passed, and decriminalization policies included reduction of sentencing for possession and use of the substance.
How does Colorado view decriminalization?
Under current Colorado law, possession of under four grams of mushrooms, is still a level-two drug misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to twelve months in county jail, and/or $50 – $750 in fines (Colorado Legal Defense Group).
The ordinance hopes to reduce the amount of people incarcerated in the state under drug charges. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “Drug possession is the most arrested offense in the U.S. with an arrest every 23 seconds.”
While opinions on decriminalization vary, Initiated Ordinance 301 may be the first motion towards regulated use, either medical or recreational.
What is psilocybin?
Psilocybin is the substance that exists in “magic mushrooms,” which produces a psychedelic effect ranging from euphoric feelings to subtle sensations to hallucinations.
There are 180 known psilocybin-containing mushroom species in existence, some are naturally occurring while others have been bred for indoor cultivation.
All psilocybin mushrooms are considered a Schedule I substance that the DEA finds has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
Why should we care?
Some believe that the use of psilocybin is the next frontier of alternative medicine. There are even some reformers, who, upon recent John Hopkins therapeutic studies, claim it could help many with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It’s certainly a topic that potentially affects our student body at PPCC. Psilocybin therapy is proving to be more and more popular for veterans and military service members suffering from PTSD.
Where can I get some?
In short, you can’t. It’s still complicated. This micro-economy is visible to the public, as many spore kits and fungi gestation apparatus can be found at local hydroponic stores around Colorado. This said: the sale, production, and distribution of these mushrooms is still a felony, and will land a cultivator in prison for 2 to 32 years.