The Hill

Denver Magic Mushrooms Legalization: Medical Benefits Of Shrooms

City officials in Denver, Colorado surprised most parts of the U.S. after they expressed interest in legalizing the use of magic mushrooms. A new policy has been proposed that seeks to eliminate criminal penalties for personal use and possession of the drug.

Magic mushrooms, or shrooms, contain a psychedelic chemical called psilocybin, which is currently part of the list of substances banned by the federal government, like heroin or LSD. But Denver wants to utilize the drug to improve the well-being of its residents, the BBC reported Tuesday

Decriminalise Denver, the group that proposed the legalization of the magic mushrooms said that there are certain mushrooms that could serve as a treatment for cluster headaches, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

One study in 2016 showed that magic mushrooms contain a hallucinogenic chemical that could potentially improve the condition of people with untreatable depression. 

"No-one should go to jail, lose their children, lose their job and lose their citizen's rights for using a mushroom,” Decriminalise Denver said. “One arrest is too many for something with such low and manageable risks for most people, relative to its potential benefits."

Officials unveiled a referendum on Tuesday that asks residents to determine if personal use and possession of the drug should be the city's "lowest law enforcement priority." If approved, the new policy will be applied to the city and county residents over the age of 21.

It is not the first time that Denver showed support for a previously illegal drug in an effort to help improve the health of its residents. In 2005, the city legalized the use of marijuana ahead of other local governments across Colorado state.

Challenge to Magic Mushrooms Legalization

The federal government placed magic mushrooms to its list of illegal drugs due to its high abuse potential and lack of accepted medical benefits. Some officials, including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, also opposed the proposal to legalize the drug around Denver.

"At this point, I don't think it's a good idea,” McCann told the Washington Post. “We're still figuring out marijuana, and even though things are going well so far, we're still measuring the impacts on the people of Denver."