A lobby group collected nearly 9,500 signatures for a measure on the ballot in May that decriminalizes psychedelic mushrooms in Denver.

Although the Denver Electoral Division has not yet verified the signatures, the issue is likely to provoke debate.

"We want people to stay out of jail, families stay together," said Kevin Matthews, campaign manager for Decriminalize Denver. "It was the main motivation for that."

It is important to note that the measure would not legalize the use or sale of magic mushrooms in the Colorado capital, but would rather treat possession of the drug as the lowest priority of the forces of order.

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Under federal law, psychedelic mushrooms are classified as Schedule I drugs, along with heroin or LSD. This means that they currently have no accepted medical use and that they have a high potential for abuse.

The Denver Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Matthews says he wants to educate people about the effects of magic mushrooms and eliminate misunderstandings around their use and their goals.

The group claims that psilocybin, a naturally occurring fungus, can reduce psychological stress, reduce the use of opioids and remain non-addictive.

The Denver Chamber of Commerce has not yet taken a stand on the issue.

Forget the weeds. Some inhabitants of Oregon want to legalize psychedelic mushrooms
A similar effort to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms is underway in Oregon, where advocates are trying to make the issue votable for the 2020 election.
"As the world's research on psilocybin is growing, and more and more people are hearing about its tremendous therapeutic potential, it is natural for more and more people to become curious about it," said Amanda. Feilding, founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, a UK-based think-tank drug, said Wednesday in an email.
More and more research is evaluating the possible role of psilocybin in medicine – and this research is complex, "said Dr. George Greer, president of the Heffter Research Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a nonprofit which encourages the study of hallucinogens and related compounds in science.
Until now, published research has shown that psilocybin can help reduce depression and anxiety in cancer patients, as well as contribute to the benefits of addiction to cancer. alcohol and tobacco, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Still, "the problem with the fungus used for treatment is that the dose can vary dramatically and unpredictably," said Greer.

"In addition, a small portion of the population has a history of psychotic or manic episodes, and psilocybin could worsen these conditions or cause a relapse," he said.

"At present, only a few clinicians have been formally trained in the administration of psilocybin, all participating in university research projects, and none of them are located in Colorado or the United States. Oregon, "said Greer.

He added that discussions on the use of psilocybin in medicine differ from those on the legalization of the substance.

"None of this should be interpreted as the Heffter or psilocybin researchers believe that people should or should not be criminalized for possession of psilocybin mushrooms," he said. The institute does not take a stand on political issues and every researcher has his personal preferences.