Colorado Leads The Way To Legalizing Psychedelic Medicine
DENVER –In this week’s midterm elections, the Mile High State of Colorado appears to be on track to legalize magic mushrooms after the group opposing the ballot question conceded defeat.
Though the result was still too close to call officially as of Thursday afternoon with 89% of the ballots counted, Proposition 122 was winning with 51.4% of the vote.
Colorado would become the second state after Oregon to legalize psychedelics in 2020 after a similar ballot question there was approved. Colorado intends to establish authorized “healing facilities” where people can consume magic mushrooms while being watched, similar to Oregon.
Psilocybin, a psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, is being investigated as a potential treatment for mental health issues like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but the studies are far too few and small to meet the criteria required by the Food and Drug Administration for medicinal approval.
The medicine was effective at generating remission in many patients, according to the most recent study on psilocybin, a Phase 2b trial on the drug for treatment-resistant depression published earlier this month, but the findings were less notable than in past trials. Future trials will examine various dose protocols, and researchers are keeping an eye on any associations between psilocybin and suicidality.
Additionally, individuals in scientific studies who have a first-degree cousin who has schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder are excluded, so there isn’t much evidence on whether certain medications increase the risk of setting off such diseases.
The measure’s opponent, Protect Colorado’s Kids’ CEO Luke Niforatos, accepted defeat on Wednesday night. Saying in a statement that Colorado had twice disregarded both federal law and the FDA in favor of the claims made by billionaires and businesspeople who pass off their newest drug fads as “medicine.” We need to ask ourselves, “Do we trust doctors and scientists more than billionaire entrepreneurs when it comes to medicine?”
Natural Medicine Colorado, which reported spending roughly $4.5 million in support of the ballot proposal, dramatically outspent his campaign, which disclosed spending $50,000 on digital advertisements and texts. Significant outside-of-the-state funding was provided, including from a PAC backed by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.
Unlike cannabis, magic mushrooms won’t be offered for sale to consumers in Colorado as a take-home product. Instead, business owners will be allowed to set up controlled locations where people can use the hallucinogenic substance.
Following Denver’s decision to legalize magic mushrooms in 2019, Denver has also decided to decriminalize growing and sharing magic mushrooms and a number of other hallucinogenic plants for personal use.
Before Coloradans can obtain therapeutic psychedelics, it will be a while. Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies is required by Proposition 122 to complete this task by January 2024. Later that year, the Department of Regulatory Agencies intends to accept license applications and provide regulated access.
30 elected leaders from both parties signed an open letter rejecting the proposal last month. They said that the ballot initiative “is not supported by research and will prematurely unleash a new commercial enterprise, led by out-of-state funders who are attempting to capitalize on increasing recreational drug use in Colorado.”
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