Colorado voters could have the chance next year to vote on legalizing possession and personal cultivation of psychedelics, and creating a system of licensed businesses to produce psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for supervised use at “healing centers.”
A national advocacy group recently filed two separate psychedelics reform initiatives for Colorado’s 2022 ballot, both of which are titled the Natural Medicine Healing Act.
The first would legalize the possession, cultivation and an array of entheogenic substances, as well as establish a regulatory model for psychedelics therapy. The other is a similar, but somewhat more dialed-back proposal that would initially legalize psilocybin and psilocin alone for personal adult use while also allowing for their sale and administration in a therapeutic setting.
This filing comes more than two years after Denver became the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. Various activists, including those involved in the 2019 campaign, have signaled interest in building upon the reform.
New Approach PAC, which has been behind a number of state marijuana legalization campaigns as well as Oregon’s medical psilocybin legalization initiative that voters approved last year, filed the new Colorado measures with the secretary of state’s office earlier this month, as Westword first reported.
Both have been revised and finalized, and activists are now awaiting approval from the state before they can launch signature gathering to qualify for next year’s ballot.
Under the broader proposal, the following entheogenic plants and fungi would be legalized: ibogaine, DMT, mescaline (except when derived from peyote), psilocybin and psilocyn.”
There would be no criminal or civil penalties for “possessing, storing, using, processing, transporting, purchasing, obtaining, ingesting, or giving away natural medicine without renumeration to a person twenty-one years of age or older” as long as it’s under the allowable amount of four grams.
While some activists are taking issue with the four gram limitation, the measure does say the allowable amount “does not include the weight of any material of which the natural medicine is a part, including dried fungus or plant material” and only counts the psychoactive compounds themselves.
The state Department of Regulatory Agencies would be responsible for developing rules for a therapeutic psychedelics program where adults 21 and older could visit a licensed “healing center” to receive treatment under the guidance of a trained facilitator.
“Colorado’s current approach to mental health has failed to fulfill its promise,” the text of the measure states. “Coloradans deserve more tools to address mental health issues, including approaches, such as natural medicines, that are grounded in treatment, recovery, health, and wellness rather than criminalization, stigma, suffering, and punishment.”
“Criminalizing natural medicines has punished people for seeking access to medicines that a growing body of research shows may have efficacy as treatments for suicidality, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders,” it says.
An advisory board would be established “for the purpose of advising the department as to the implementation of the regulated access program.”
While localities could enact policies related to the “time, place, and manner of the operation of healing centers,” they could not outright ban the facilities from operating in their jurisdiction.
Further, the initiative provides a …….