Colorado voters approved a ballot measure on Tuesday that will legalize the use of psychedelic “magic mushrooms,” but rejected three propositions that impact the sale of alcohol.
A decade after becoming the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, Colorado became the second state after Oregon to sanction the use of psilocybin mushrooms for adults aged 21 and over.
Prop 122 will regulate the growth and distribution of the “natural medicine,” which will allow adults to use the hallucinogenic substance and share with others, as long as they’re not compensated for for the gift.
The measure, which passed with a 51.4% vote, will also retroactively reduce or remove criminal penalties related to the past use, possession or sale of the psychedelic fungi.
Researchers believe that the federally classified Schedule I controlled substance is beneficial in the treatment of mental health disorders including clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, and has shown positive results in as a therapeutic for anorexia nervosa and smoking cessation.
“Although more research is needed to determine what’s happening at the chemical level,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, MD, a specialist at University Hospitals.
“Psilocybin appears to increase the brain’s capacity to change, to become more adaptive, and to break out of habits and negative thought patterns. Hence psilocybin’s great potential in helping people with problems like depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction.”
The move to legalize magic mushrooms will likely be lucrative for Colorado, which amassed $423 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales last year alone.
The cannabis industry has generated $12 billion in sales since being legalized in 2014, and the state has benefited by collecting more than $2 billion in taxes.
While the majority of Coloradans supported legalizing the hallucinogenic substance, they rejected three ballot measures to increase the sale of alcohol.
Propositions 124, 125 and 126, which respectively would allow liquor stores to add more locations, permit grocery and convenience stores to sell wine, and let delivery services drop off booze, were all handily defeated on Nov. 8.
Winos were miffed that none off the alcohol related measures passed. “WTF Colorado – they are legalizing mushrooms, but not the ability to buy wine at Whole Foods,” someone tweeted.
“Only in colorado will we legalize mushrooms but not selling Franzia at the gas station,” another complained.
“Pretty much anything goes in the wild arena of public policy in Colorado. Psychadelic mushrooms, cannabis, abortion, sports gambling,” one conservative Twitter user reacted.
“Pretty much everything except Biblical values. Take it from a guy who has testified at many hearings. Biblical values will get you angry glares.”
“Colorado is officially the Anti-Florida,” someone reacted. “Instead of a mass populace of homeless people we will just have a mass populace of homeless people on mushrooms,” another replied. “Colorado will be the new Florida in certain ways. Get ready for stories like ‘Colorado Man Eats Dog’ [and] ‘Colorado Man Kills 50 In Drug Induced Rage.'”
Five states voted on the legalization of recreational marijuana use during the midterms, with ballot measures in Maryland and Missouri approved, while residents in Arkansas, North and South Dakota rejecting the propositions.