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Colorado Votes to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy; Allow Personal Use of Psychedelics

The article Colorado Votes to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy; Allow Personal Use of Psychedelics was originally published on Microdose.

On November 8th,…



The article Colorado Votes to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy; Allow Personal Use of Psychedelics was originally published on Microdose.

On November 8th, Americans exercised their democratic rights in a tight election. While the House, Senate, and many Governors were on the ballot, one of the most interesting races was Colorado’s Proposition 122, a ballot initiative to permit the personal consumption of many “natural” psychedelics, and legalize psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in regulated “healing centers.”

Though the count has not been 100% completed — at the time of writing there is still 14% of the vote that needs to be counted  — it now appears certain that Colorado voters said YES to Proposition 122. In fact, the Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio and others have called the race in favor of the YES side.

Though the results may budge slightly by the time all the ballots are counted, with 84%of the votes counted, 51.3% voted in favor of the measure, and 48.7% voted against it. As much of the vote that still needs to be counted comes from districts that voted in favor of the measure, the remaining ballots are almost certainly unlikely to change the results.

So, with Colorado’s psychedelic ballot measure passed, what happens now?

In short, Proposition 122 — also known as the Natural Medicine Health Act Initiative — has three key provisions:

  1. Decriminalizing the possession, personal use, and non-monetary gifting of “natural” psychedelics such as psilocybin and psilocin mushrooms, mescaline (but not in the form of peyote), ibogaine and DMT, for all adults 21 years of age and older.
  1. Establishing “psilocybin healing centers” where adults can receive psilocybin-assisted therapy to treat mental health conditions such as PTSD and depression, though no doctor’s note would be needed.
  1. Allowing Coloradans who had been previously convicted and served their time for a crime now made legal, to petition the courts to seal their record. As long as the District Attorney does not object, the court will automatically seal the case.

Now, there are a few details to keep in mind. First, the sale of psychedelics will still be illegal. So Coloradans will be able to grow their own mushrooms and other psychedelics, share them with friends, and ultimately consume them without fear of punishment. But there will still be no regulatory framework for people to legally buy or sell a psychedelic — outside of the therapist-monitored “healing centers.”

Second, in regard to the psilocybin healing centers, these will not open immediately. Now that the ballot has passed, Colorado will set up a committee that will study how to set up the best regulations and institutions, before drafting the rules and setting the system in place. This entire process will continue until September 2024, so do not expect to undergo legal psilocybin therapy in Colorado until 2025 at the earliest.



And third, if the system is considered a success, the now-passed ballot initiative also allows regulators to add other natural psychedelics such as DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline (as long as it is not derived from peyote) to the list of medicines to be offered at the healing centers after June 1st, 2026.

With the passage of the Natural Medicine Health Act Initiative, Colorado will become the most psychedelic-friendly state. It will join Oregon in legalizing psilocybin-assisted therapy, and the decriminalization aspect of the bill is so complete that it touches on the edge of flat-out legalization.

Colaradans will be able to grow their own psychedelic mushrooms (and other natural psychedelic substances), consume them, and share them with friends. This is a revolution in drug policy.

Undoubtedly, eyes from around the nation and the world will be on Colorado in the coming years to gauge how successful the state is, and what the unforeseen benefits and consequences of their move are. If it is judged to be a success, Colorado could be but one of the first dominos to fall in ending the War on Drugs, at least when it comes to psychedelics.

Importantly, Colorado voters were not the only ones to put a dent in the War on Drugs on election day. Maryland and Missouri voters each voted to legalize and regulate cannabis, bringing the total number of states where pot is legal (or at least soon to be) to 21.

Unfortunately, it was not all good news, as voters in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota all voted against legalizing marijuana.

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