Colorado continues to set trends. The state became the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In 2019, Denver voters approved a ballot initiative that ended the use of public funding to pursue criminal charges of adult possession of psilocybin while putting the crime at the lowest law enforcement priority.
Legalizing natural medicine
This month, Coloradans throughout the state will vote on a ballot initiative allowing adults 21 or older to use the psychedelic in centers licensed by the state while under the oversight of facilitators. Colorado’s Proposition 122 calls for the legalization of this type of “natural medicine” that includes:
- Psilocybin and Psilocyn (components of “magic mushrooms”)
- Mescaline (the active ingredient in peyote).
- Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
Potentially legalized activities include growing, cultivating, and processing plants or fungi. In addition, possession, storage, use, transport, securing, and distribution to adults without accepting any financial compensation.
Those younger than 21 will are prohibited from using psychedelics. However, any criminal charges for possession or sharing would call for up to four hours of drug education or counseling at no cost to those convicted.
Existing state law classifies psychedelics as Schedule 1 controlled substances. Currently, possession of four grams or less for personal use can result in one year in jail. More significant amounts are charged as felonies, including manufacturing and distribution, with up to $500,000 in fines and a maximum of four years in prison.
Passage of the initiative aside, possession and use of drugs still deemed illegal can carry serious consequences for Colorado residents. Legal representation is vital to protect rights and secure the best possible outcome for a criminal case.