Denver votes to decriminalise magic mushrooms

Denver, Colorado, has become the first city in the United States to decriminalise magic mushrooms - just about. The unofficial final results - which are not expected to change when overseas votes are counted - was a stunning turn of events, after the measure trailed in the polls all day, and seemed doomed to fail.

A vote for "yes" on "Initiated Ordinance 301, Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative" which appeared on Tuesday's ballot would make "adult possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms the lowest law enforcement priority in Denver" and would prohibit the city "from spending resources on enforcing related penalties".

The initiative on the ballot followed the same tack taken by marijuana activists to decriminalize pot possession in 2005 in the city. It does not legalize psilocybin or allow its purchase by cannabis businesses.

But Mr Matthews' group Decriminalise Denver, which was behind the initiative, argued that certain mushrooms "may be helpful in the treatment of cluster headaches, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] and OCD [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder]".

"This is not something you need to have daily", that the 33-year-old Denver native stated. "It provides a lot of lasting benefits, weeks and months after one experience".

As it had been called a drug, psilocybin has been outlawed because the 1960s. Legalization in 2012 accompanied that move.

If these results hold up, it would at a bare minimum justify psilocybin's removal from Schedule I, a classification reserved for drugs with "no now accepted medical use in treatment in the United States" and "a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision". Studies in the past several years have found the substance had positive impacts on depression and anxiety for both cancer sufferers, although study was stymied by the ban. According to The Denver Post, director Jeff Hunt boasted, "Voters took an important step back from embracing yet another illicit drug".

Users have described seeing colors and geometric patterns and undergoing spiritual relations and feelings.

Although the Denver Police Department declined to comment, a spokeswoman for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D), who was leading in his bid for a third term on Tuesday, said he opposed the initiative, and Denver District Attorney Beth McCann (D) also voiced opposition.