Denver becomes first United States city to decriminalize 'magic mushrooms'

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Denver, a city famous for blazing the trail for marijuana's legalization in municipalities and states all over the nation, has become the first U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

The Initiated Ordinance 301, or the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative, was approved Tuesday by less than 2,000 votes, according to preliminary results from the elections division.

Officials said the vote would be certified on May 16 once all military and overseas ballots have been counted.

In addition to making enforcement of laws regarding psilocybin mushroom the lowest possible priority, the law would prevent the city from using public funds or resources to prosecute people charged with crimes related to mushroom possession.

The advocacy group Decriminalize Denver submitted petitions to Denver's Election Division back in January in order to get a measure on the city's ballot during its May election that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

Magic mushroom decriminalization campaign organizers have said that their main goal is to keep people out of jail in Denver for using or possessing the drug. "It provides a lot of lasting benefits, weeks and months after one experience".

The federal government argued that psilocybin - and all Schedule I classification drugs - have high abuse potential and no accepted medical value.

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In a state where voters legalized marijuana for recreational use seven years ago, the psilocybin initiative was a test of whether that victory reflected widespread acceptance of a moral principle that could be extended to other drugs.

The citizen initiative on the ballot followed the same tack taken by marijuana activists to decriminalize pot possession in 2005 in the city.

Passage would once again put Colorado at the forefront of American drug legalization after it became one of the first two states to vote to legalise marijuana in 2012 - though not all residents approve.

A number of other states have since allowed marijuana sales and use by adults. The ban stymied medical research, but small studies in recent years have found the substance had positive effects on anxiety and depression for cancer patients.

Magic mushrooms have been used in religious practices for decades due to their powerful effect on perceptions and spiritual experiences.

Last year, a similar measure to decriminalise psilocybin mushrooms in California failed to gain enough signatures for inclusion on the ballot.

After years of suffering and not finding a solution, Matthews said friends introduced him to psilocybin mushrooms.

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