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Will Colorado Voters Legalize Psychedelics?

The article Will Colorado Voters Legalize Psychedelics? was originally published on Microdose.

On November 8th, as Americans from across the nation cast…

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The article Will Colorado Voters Legalize Psychedelics? was originally published on Microdose.

On November 8th, as Americans from across the nation cast their ballots for the House of Representatives, ⅓ of the Senate, and many Governors, Colorado voters will also be given the chance to vote for legal psychedelics.

Yes, after much political drama, citizens of Colorado will finally vote on Proposition 122, which — if passed — would make the state the most psychedelic-friendly in the union.

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

  1. Legalizing 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 depression and PTSD, though no doctor’s note would be needed.
  1. Allowing Coloradoans 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.

 

 

While the psilocybin healing centers would see Colorado follow in the footsteps of Oregon, whose voters passed a similar ballot initiative allowing psilocybin healing centers in 2020, by legalizing substances such as ibogaine and DMT for personal use, Colorado would become the most psychedelic-friendly state in the USA. Other states, such as Oregon, have only decriminalized these substances.

There are a few important caveats and details to understand. First, this bill would not legalize the sale or any commercial activity surrounding psychedelics — beyond controlled sales to psilocybin healing centers. Even if Colorado votes Yes on Proposition 122, selling psychedelics would remain illegal.

Next, the psilocybin healing centers would not pop up immediately after a “Yes” vote. Rather, a committee would be formed to study how best to implement the system, before drafting rules and regulations, and finally executing the system. This process will last until September 2024, meaning we won’t see any psilocybin centers until 2025.

Finally, if the psilocybin healing centers are deemed to be a success, the ballot initiative allows regulators to add 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.

While Colorado is the only state to have psychedelics on the ballot this November 8th, it is far from the only state with drug liberalization ballot initiatives. A total of five states will vote on legalizing the possession and consumption of marijuana by adults of at least 21 years of age, as well as setting up a regulated commercial industry. Already 19 states have legal marijuana.

  • In North Dakota, Measure 2 will legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana.
  • In South Dakota, Measure 27 will legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana.
  • In Missouri, Amendment 3 will legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana.
  • In Maryland, Question 4 will legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana.
  • In Arkansas, Issue 4 will legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana.

Despite its many flaws, the United States is still a democracy. If you live in Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Maryland or Arkansas, you have the chance to put a dent in the disastrous War on Drugs, which has decimated millions of families.

While it is easy to become disillusioned with politics, especially in our age of hyper-partisanship, your vote still matters tremendously. Having a fairer justice system that locks up fewer people for making a decision on what to put in their own bodies is on the ballot in these six states. Your vote matters.

Make sure you are registered to vote, and show up on November 8th (or in early voting if your state allows it).

 

Editors note: There are some indigenous groups opposing Prop 122. Learn more here

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