Legislation to Decriminalize Psilocybin Mushrooms in the Works

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

Earlier this month, advocates for the use of psychedelic mushrooms were given the okay to put an initiative before Denver voters to decriminalize magic mushrooms in the city.

First time psilocybin decriminalization has been voted on by U.S. voters

The Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative is meant to ask voters in Denver to approve a city ordinance that could make the possession of psilocybin mushrooms legal for adults 21 years or older. There currently is no weight limit specified in the initiative, and it would also make growing these mushrooms legal. The law would not legalize retail sales.

Psilocybin mushrooms, often referred to as “magic mushrooms,” are gaining traction in the medical world for use in PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. The mushrooms produce strong and profound psychedelic effects including hallucinations.

Denver’s Elections Division validated the signatures turned in by the initiative campaign, stating that the number of valid signatures was enough to place the initiative on the ballot for the May 7 municipal vote. This will be the first time psilocybin decriminalization has been voted on by U.S. voters.

The absence of a weight limit is an intentional aspect of the measure

The long-term goals of the campaign seem to be to educate the public about the drug and also stop the burden on the legal system for its use. “I don’t foresee a recreational cannabis model in the near future,” Kevin Matthews, the campaign director said.

The initiative would end criminal charges for the use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms, but would not allow for retail sales of the drug. The absence of a weight limit is actually an intentional aspect of the measure addressing the wide variance of mushroom weight from its living state as a heavy and wet fungus to is relatively light dry state as a consumable drug.

Matthews says he’s moving forward with a clear mind and plans a long-term education and research strategy that includes a mayoral panel empowered by the initiative and tasked with reviewing its impacts.

“This is going to be a work in progress,” he said.


Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.

Node Smith graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in 2017, and is currently licensed as a naturopathic physician in Oregon and working towards becoming licensed in Saskatchewan, Canada as well.

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