Denver appears to have become the first city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.
Although early reporting showed Denver Initiative 301 behind by several points, the final unofficial report on Wednesday revealed the measure has a lead of 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent, which is a margin of 1,979 votes out of a total of 176,661. Results could still change ahead of the deadline of May 16 for official results to be certified.
The citizen initiative would make the adult possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms the lowest law enforcement priority in Denver and prohibit the city from spending resources on enforcing penalties related to psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocybin was classified as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). At the state level, the use and possession of psilocybin were illegal and penalized, except in certain cases allowed under the state’s right-to-try law. Right-to-try laws aim to allow terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental drugs without the permission of the FDA. Colorado was the first state to adopt a right-to-try law in 2014.
The support campaign, Decriminalize Denver, collected 5,559 valid signatures for the initiative and submitted them in January 2019. They needed 4,726 signatures, which was 5 percent of the votes cast for mayoral candidates in the preceding mayoral election.
Also at Tuesday’s election, Denver voters defeated Initiative 300, which would have overturned Denver’s ban on camping in public areas and established rights to resting, sheltering oneself, eating or exchanging food, and occupying a legally parked vehicle in public outdoor areas.