Colorado Voters Approve Initiative To Legalize And Regulate Psychedelics

It was too close to call most of election night but Colorado finally confirmed that voters approved an initiative to legalize the possession of certain psychedelics and create psilocybin healing centers. Proposition 122, the Natural Medicine Health Act Initiative will immediately decriminalize psilocybin, psilocin and mescaline (not derived from peyote), ibogaine and DMT.

In addition to decriminalizing adult possession and gifting of psychedelics, voters approved the creation of regulated psilocybin therapy centers. The initiative will also provide expungement for people who have previously been convicted and served time.

Colorado will join Oregon, where Measure 109 legalized psilocybin therapy and decriminalized the personal use of other psychedelics in 2020.

“It’s such relief to know that the people of Colorado believe in Prop 122. It’s the most comprehensive state psychedelic reform measure we have seen to date," said Joshua Kappel, founding partner at cannabis and psychedelic law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP and one of the drafters of Proposition 122. "It not only protects community healing modalities and the civil liberties of everyone in the natural psychedelic ecosystem, but creates much-needed access to natural psychedelic therapy to give hope to those who are suffering with hard-to-treat mental health ailments such as treatment-resistant depression, trauma, and PTSD.” 

Plans are underway to set up a new committee to assess Colorado's department of regulatory agencies as they establish and regulate healing centers that will offer psilocybin-assisted therapy for adults suffering from mental health conditions. The Nature Medicine Health Act requires this regulatory process to continue until September 2024. 

Psilocybin centers will most likely not be available until 2025. But, even under that scenario, results entail a promise for those who suffer mental health conditions and for whom currently available treatment options have not worked out.

Photo by Peter Pryharski on Unsplash

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