Updated: May 8, 2019 / 8:26 PM
Denver will become the first city in the United States to decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms, based on unconfirmed results taking place on Wednesday of a ballot initiative regarding the hallucinogenic drug.
The initiative sought for Colorado’s capital to end the imposition of criminal penalties for individuals who are at least 21 years of age and are using or possessing psilocybin, which is known as magic mushrooms.
If the state approves the initiative, the psilocybin will remain illegal under both Colorado and federal law. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, psilocybin is classed as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning the agency has determined that the drug has a higher potential for abuse with no accepted medical application.
A group known as Decriminalize Denver that is behind Tuesday’s ballot question claimed that psilocybin had a wide range of medical benefits. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and also to treat tobacco, alcohol and opioid addictions, and with alleviating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the organization.
Some worry that if the initiative were to pass, it would increase the image of the city as a retreat for drugs, because Colorado was one of the first states to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for adult recreational use.
Beth McCann, the Denver District Attorney, opposed the initiative. However, if the measure were to be approved, she claimed to support the formation of a review panel under the initiative to study the effects of the drug and the impact the ordinance would have on Denver, spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said.