The State of Colorado will long live in the pantheon of American history as the first state to fully embrace the idea of legalizing cannabis.
Regardless of all the hippy tropes and stoner stereotypes, the legalization of marijuana is something that America and Americans may someday come to regard as the second gold rush. The plant, which derived it’s nickname “weed” from its ability to grow just about anywhere, isn’t simply used for smoking anymore.
Previous attempts to scientifically study the plant have long been stymied by the legal issues surrounding cannabis, and modern researchers are doing their darnedest to catch up. Our understanding of compounds known as cannabinoids, in particular, is helping to forge new paths in all manner of health fields. Children with epilepsy and other seizure-impairments have been especially effected by the legalization of these compounds, which do not need to contain the psychoactive substance THC to work.
Colorado’s example has been modified and spread throughout the nation in recent years, with well more than 30 states allowing some form of decriminalized or legal marijuana, whether it be medicinal, recreational, or both.
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While the country plays catch-up, however, Colorado is looking to push the envelope once again with Denver voters now being asked to consider whether hallucinogenic mushrooms should be legal.
It would be the first city in the nation to do so, potentially opening a new frontier in state and local efforts to circumvent the federal government’s longtime crackdown on mind-altering substances.
California failed to get a similar measure on the ballot last year, and activists in Oregon hope to put the issue to a statewide vote in 2020.
Much as they did for marijuana, a much more benign drug, activists are touting the potential medical benefits of psilocybin to win public acceptance for a drug known more for its recreational use.
“This measure is backed by strong medical data,” said Kevin Matthews, who manages the campaign for Decriminalize Denver, the group leading the initiative, and credits the mushrooms with helping him overcome a crippling depression. “There is clearly a psychedelic renaissance underway, and we wanted to open a grass-roots campaign to address this issue.”
While this certainly seems like an enormous leap, from rolling doobies to trippin’ your face off, the emphasis here is on the medical possibilities of using psilocybin in lieu of the dangerous, synthetic cocktails found in anti-depressants, particularly in the SSRI or “selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor” class of drugs.
Concerns over the widespread recreational use of the drug has many Denver residents, concerned, however, and the bill will face heavy opposition as it comes time for a vote.
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