Colorado: State-Wide Psychedelics Legalization Measure Makes The Cut For November's Ballot

Colorado: State-Wide Psychedelics Legalization Measure Makes The Cut For November's Ballot

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has announced that it received the submission of over 225,000 signatures for the inclusion of Initiative 58 in the next ballot, which represents more than 111% over the campaign’s required signature goal, and therefore sets it within the voting session to be held on November 8, 2022.

The Colorado Psychedelics Legalization Act In Detail

The initiative, titled “Natural Medicine Health Act,” aims to expand Colorado’s mental health approach to include the possession, use, cultivation and gifting of psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (except peyote-derived), DMT and psilocin within a legal framework for adults 21 and older, with no specified amount limit. 

An important distinction: There would be no recreational sales component, meaning it would still be considered a crime for anyone unlicensed to sell them. Sharing between adults would be allowed. 

The measure would allow for licensed "healing centers" to offer psilocybin and psilocin for therapeutic use for those over 21 years old until June 2026. After that point, the advisory board that would be created together with the Department of Regulatory Agencies could decide to eventually also allow the regulated use of DMT, ibogaine and mescaline.

Furthermore, the Act would provide the possibility of sealing prior convictions’ records for those who have completed their sentence. Should there be no objection to the petition from the district attorney and the court would automatically clear the record.

In face of the news, designated representative of the initiative Kevin Matthews commented: “These medicines hold such promise for people struggling with PTSD, depression, and other mental health challenges. As we deal with a growing mental health crisis in our state, we need new tools to help Coloradans heal, and these are research-backed therapies that can work even where other treatments have failed.”

For his part, the State Governor Jared Polis recently acknowledged that advocates are working to accomplish a drug policy reform at the ballot and that he personally supports the substances’ decriminalization. Polis has recently signed a bill that would legalize MDMA prescriptions in Colorado provided the federal government permits them.

Another Decriminalization Measure Is In Place

Besides the initiative that has just got included in the November ballot, there is a separate signature-gathering effort underway: Initiative 61, launched in January 2022 and led by Decriminalize Nature Colorado, aims at decriminalizing psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline. 

More specifically, the measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess, cultivate and share those drugs. It would not be legal to sell any of the psychedelics, however.

Photo Courtesy of Artur Kornakov on Unsplash.

Posted In: ColoradoInitiative 58Jared PolisKevin MatthewsNatural Medicine Health ActCannabisNewsPsychedelicsRumorsLegalMarkets