Psilocybin Vote in Denver Is a Major Step for Freedom of Consciousness

Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Once again, Denver, Colorado is at the heart of the U.S. drug debate. Instead of marijuana, though, this time they are debating the decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms. Initiative 301 is on the ballot, and if passed, psilocybin mushrooms would become Denver’s lowest law enforcement priority. This wouldn’t exactly legalize shrooms though.

The DEA still lists psilocybin as a schedule one drug. This means the mushroom is illegal both federally and in Colorado. So you won’t quite be able to buy shrooms from the corner store, but it’s a major step in the right direction and a huge leap towards freedom of consciousness.

Denver Ballot Initiative 301

As already stated, the ordinance would effectively decriminalize possession by setting it at the lowest priority for law enforcement. However, this will not affect the way police officers deal with sale, distribution, and production. Only possession is decriminalized, yet this is still beneficial for users.

In addition, Denver will create a policy review panel that will assess and report on the effects of the initiative. This means that if psilocybin proves to be beneficial, further steps will probably be taken for its legalization. The Denver government will be watching, and they will see that shrooms don’t actually make you jump off a bridge.

The Denver Post explained the basic arguments for and against the initiative. Those for the initiative claim that it would save taxpayer money because fewer police resources will go to arrests for psilocybin. In addition, they argue that the drug is safe and non-addictive, providing many medical benefits.

Those against argue that Denver will look more like a drug city and that more people will use drugs. These concerns are trivial, though, because those in favor of prohibition have nearly always been wrong in their assessment. Initiative 301 should be embraced because the more we move towards legalization, the healthier our society can be.

What’s So Great About Psilocybin?

How is Psilocybin normalization and decriminalization going to increase freedom of consciousness? Studies have already shown that psilocybin mushrooms are changing the way you die:

In December of 2016, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a groundbreaking study on the effects of psilocybin mushrooms on terminal cancer patients. It’s fairly common knowledge that those facing a terminal illness have higher rates of depression and anxiety; of course, people with terminal cancer are prone to these effects. But evidence shows that the drug may have a major effect on their condition….

Astonishingly, the drug had a clinically significant effect on the patients. The researchers defined this as depression and/or anxiety decreasing 50% or more from the baseline. For those that received the high dose first, the results were immediate. After the first session, 92% of subjects with depression and 76% of those with anxiety saw a clinical response. For 60% and 52%, respectively, the symptoms were in full remission.

Magic mushrooms are doing phenomenal work for patients on the brink of dying. Any alternative is useful as doctors and pharmaceutical companies increasingly engage in unethical practices.

Ego Death

In addition, many argue that psilocybin and similar psychedelics allow one to explore their own consciousness and come to grips with their own ego:

Living in a society means living within certain limits, for our own safety and that of others. We need the ego to draw lines, protecting us from people who may take advantage of too much kindness or too open a spirit. But muting the ego can be a good thing. Switching off the default mode changes the connections between cortical regions and activates new modes, new sensations and thoughts, allowing us to “lose the inhibiting influence on one’s own narrative, which leads to insights that are kept from consciousness,” Carhart-Harris says.


Finally, psychedelic microdosing is proven to be beneficial for dealing with difficult cognitive tasks and difficult work. This means that microdosing psilocybin will provide a useful alternative for those that cope with difficult tasks by means of Adderall or caffeine abuse. In addition, studies have shown that microdosing psilocybin helps patients that are dealing with depression:

A growing body of evidence suggests that various psychedelics can treat depression. Recent large studies, using the psychedelics psilocybin and ayahuasca, have shown that a single moderate dose of these substances can significantly reduce depression scores. The antidepressant effect of psychedelics also seems to last for much longer than typical treatments, with reduced depression scores maintained for several months after treatment.

This is a major plus, considering the epidemic of depression currently overtaking the world. The crisis has shown that traditional pharmaceutical means of treating mental health are ineffective and an alternative is needed. Psilocybin mushrooms are that alternative.

The Fight for Psilocybin Continues

This is just one of many battles in the war for freedom of consciousness in the United States. LSD is increasingly popular as a smart drug. The debate over Kratom shows that many Americans cannot stand prohibition. Marijuana is practically a basic part of American culture, even seeing a debate over decriminalization in Texas. Even Ketamine is seeing increased adoption via the FDA.

It’s going to take a lot of little steps for this fight to be won, but the passage of Initiative 301 is a much-needed one.

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