Proposition 122, the initiative seeking to legalize the use of “natural medicine,” has narrowly passed, with 52.3 percent in support and 47.7 percent against it, with 92 percent of votes reporting. The measure allows people 21 and older to grow and consume psychedelic mushrooms. It also allows the creation of state-regulated centers where people can make appointments to consume psilocybin, the compound derived from psychedelic mushrooms.
The passage of this measure comes more than four years after Denver became the first city in the United States to decriminalize psychedelics. Now the entire state becomes the second state after Oregon to fully legalize the use of “magic” mushrooms.
The measure specifically legalizes psilocybin and psilocin, two compounds found in psychedelic mushrooms. While the proposition does not include an option for retail sales, it further decriminalizes the personal growing and use of what the initiative defines as “natural medicine”—besides psilocybin and psilocin, this would include ibogaine, mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine, or DMT—for adults 21 or older.
As it eliminates penalties for psychedelic use, the proposition also lays out plans for establishing supervised administration of the “natural medicine” at licensed “healing centers.” By 2024, state agencies will be required to begin accepting applications for healing center licenses.
After June 1, 2026, these centers could be authorized to expand their services to include DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline, subject to an advisory board’s recommendation. Beyond the new “healing centers,” existing mental health and substance abuse centers could seek licenses to offer psychedelic treatments.
Additionally, anyone who completed a sentence for a conviction related to an act now legal under the initiative will be able to petition the courts to seal records related to that conviction.
Colorado’s passage follows an effort by certain members of Congress to open up research into psychedelic therapies. Three years ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced an amendment to expand research but was shut down by a majority of Democrats and nearly all Republicans.
Earlier this year, Ocasio-Cortez was joined by an unlikely ally in Representative Dan Crenshaw as they attached amendments to the annual military spending bill to increase access of psychedelic treatments to veterans and active service members, as well as expanding research into psychedelic substances. The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs has, since June, been involved in a number of clinical trials involving psychedelic drugs, which have shown promise in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.