Previously decriminalized in just the city of Denver, psilocybin may become medically available across the state thanks to the Natural Medicine Health Act

This November, Colorado could see some big changes in the area of psychedelics as activists believe they have enough signatures to place a measure on the state’s ballot that would legalize possession of psilocybin and create licensed healing centers.[1]

Back in 2019, advocates in Denver successfully took to the ballots to decriminalize psilocybin via Ordinance 301, or Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative, raising over $5.9k for the ballot initiative.[2]  Now, the whole state of Colorado wants to join the movement, but what does this mean for voters this November?

The Natural Medicine Health Act would begin forming a legal framework for access to psilocybin mushrooms via state-licensed medicinal centers for patients who need the substance’s therapeutic benefits. Additionally, it also decriminalizes N-dimethyltryptamine (“DMT”), ibogaine, and mescaline, leaving a potential for those drugs to be accessed at approved medical centers as well in the future.

While the bill aims to allow adults 21 years and older to possess the above psychoactive substances, it does not have a component to permit recreational sales but rather focuses on expanding access as a means of improving medical treatment.

Should the bill pass, adults 21 and older would be permitted access to psilocybin under the guidance of a trained facilitator by visiting a licensed healing center. Treatment would be dedicated to helping severe PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health diagnoses under licensed facilitator supervision.

As the measure’s website notes, there is proven research that psychedelic substances – particularly psilocybin – can significantly benefit a variety of ailments. A study from 2016 asserted that psilocybin can significantly and quickly reduce feelings of anxiety and depression in patients diagnosed with cancer.[3] In a study on psilocybin’s effect on depression, researchers found the following, patients who received a high dose of 25 milligrams experienced an average reduction of clinical depression symptoms. [4]

If successful, the bill could be a game-changer for Colorado and for other states interested in pursuing psychedelic medicine. California and Oregon have both previously demonstrated intent to decriminalize psilocybin in recent years a city and state levels respectively.

Broadly, if the movement to decriminalize psilocybin continues to expand at this rate, it could be monumental for common sense drug policy in the US.



[1] Jaeger, Kyle. “Colorado Activists Turn in Signatures to Put Psychedelics Legalization and Therapeutic Psilocybin Program on Ballot.” Marijuana Moment, 27 June 2022

[2] Kenney, Andrew. “It’s official: Psychedelic mushrooms are on a trip to Denver’s 2019 election ballot.” The Denver Post, 1 Feb. 2019

[3] Princing, McKenna. “Can Magic Mushrooms Help Ease Anxiety and Depression?” Right as Rain by UW Medicine, 15 Nov. 2021

[4] Goldhill, Olivia “Largest Psilocybin Trial Finds the Psychedelic Is Effective in Treating Serious Depression.” STAT, 9 Nov. 2021




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