“Free the spores” is dead. Denver’s registered voters won’t have a chance to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms on the next ballot this coming year. Known by their scientific name, psilocybin the natural growth has been rejected by a series of barriers from disapproving public rejections from the Denver elections division.
Although the ballot approvals have not completely finished, Kevin Matthews says he isn’t worried. Matthews is one of the men behind the Denver Psychoactive Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative that didn’t even have time to collect the 5,000 required signatures needed to add to the city’s mid-August deadline. Their goal has only been pushed back to May 2019.
“We want to make this campaign as effective as possible, which of course means having the language that would make the most sense,” Matthews said. “We decided that it was important to kind of redraft it from the ground up.”
Matthews expects approval of the new initiative language in the coming weeks. He said the new language has been examined by an outside legal consultant but they have yet to file it with the city.
Although the chance to be on this years ballot was missed, the group sees it as an opportunity to educate voters on psilocybin before time is up in 2019. The group has started connecting with other pro-psychedelic campaigners in Oregon and California.
“We’re slowly but surely building a pretty strong coalition, which is exciting,” Matthews said. “It’s pretty amazing to be even be having the conversation with some of our elected and appointed officials here.”
The California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative also failed to qualify for the 2018 ballot as well. The California initiative campaign did gather 25% of the signatures needed, which is over 90,000 statewide. Matthew’s group in Denver only needed 5,000. He believes there is hope for them, since there was enough popular support in California.
“There’s a really strong undercurrent of psychedelic use in our culture,” he said. “It’s really highly influenced our culture.”
The psychedelic advocate believes public perception is changing, as the Multidisciplinary Associate for Psychedelic Studies has started using MDMA in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, holding studies in Fort Collins and Boulder. MAPS runs a state funded study also researching marijuana use for PTSD treatments. In a way, when Colorado cracked the door open for marijuana, the cultural shift that transpired may have left it open for a fungi.
Groups like Matthews plan to stick together, like Veterans for Natural Rights another non-profit group based out of Colorado that supports the use of alternative treatments for PTSD. Matthew’s is planning to team up with the group to hold a panel that would answer community questions with invited guest speakers to enlighten the community of their cause.
“We’re specifically focused on the fact that, for instance, arrests for psilocybin in the Denver metro area — it’s like 1.3 percent of drug arrests are related to mushrooms,” Matthews said. “There’s not a lot of enforcement already.”
Source : The Recover Newsroom