Colorado voters passed Colorado Proposition 122 to decriminalize and regulate access to certain psychedelic plants and fungi. The initiative works to establish a regulated system for the possession and use of certain magic mushrooms. These fungi include those that have hallucinogens like psilocybin and psilocin.
Those in favor of the move claim the state has thus far failed in its attempt to address mental health issues and that use of psychedelics can provide a natural and safe way to treat anxiety, addiction, depression, and other mental health conditions. Those against the measure note the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve use of these substances — making “safe” use an issue as we do not yet know what safe use would entail.
But what does this mean right now for Coloradoans? The following will provide guidance.
Are these psychedelics legal in Colorado?
Not yet. Right now, possession and use of these types of hallucinogenic is unlawful.
What will Proposition 122 change?
The proposition will allow healing centers to supply clients with mushrooms and allow individuals over the age of 21 to grow and use fungus containing psilocybin and psilocin. Underage use of the substance would result in drug petty offense and four hours of drug education or counseling.
In contrast to marijuana law, this initiative does not allow for the creation of dispensaries to sell these substances.
The initiative would also allow those with previous convictions for offenses involving these substances to file a petition with the court to seal the record of conviction. The law, known as the Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022, is set to take effect the end of 2024.
What happens if police accuse me of having psychedelic mushrooms?
As noted above, possession of these substances is currently against Colorado state law. These substances are listed as Schedule 1 controlled substances under state and federal law. However, Denver currently requires officers treat the substance as the lowest priority and has partially decriminalizes psychedelic mushrooms. This basically means that although an officer should not conduct a stop based solely on concern for psychedelic mushrooms alone, if these substances are part of a larger concern of criminal behavior the accused can still face charges.
Penalties for a violation are impacted by many different factors including the amount, intent, and whether the accused has a prior record of offenses.
What are the possible defenses to magic mushroom crimes in Colorado?
It is important to know that you can fight back if the state accuses you of one of these crimes. Similar to other drug crimes, one line of defense is that the substance was not yours. It is also important to review the police procedures used to conduct the stop that led to the questions and gathering of evidence. If police did not follow proper protocol the evidence may not be admissible in court. This can lead to a reduction or dismissal of charges.