Colorado residents may soon be able to vote on the decriminalization and regulation of psychedelics. If two voter initiatives centered around psychedelics qualify for the ballot, voters in Colorado could vote to decriminalize psychedelics during the November ballot.
Initiative 58 and initiative 61 are currently in the signature-gathering stage, with each having to collect no less than 124,635 valid signatures by Aug. 8, 2022, to qualify for the ballot.
Initiative 61, Legal Possession and Use of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi, would decriminalize the personal possession and use of specific entheogenic fungi and plants for adults aged 21 years and older. This includes psilocin, psilocybin, mescaline, dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and ibogaine.
Initiative 61 would also remove legal penalties for the production, possession and personal use of psychedelics, bill coproponent Nicole Forester says. She said that studies have proven that these psychedelics are safe and that people across the country are already using them with little risk to personal or public health. People are also using psychedelics safely in territories that do not have comprehensive frameworks for regulation.
Coproponent Melanie Rose Rodgers notes that while the bill allows the cultivation and sharing of these psychedelics, it does not sanction their sale.
Initiative 58, Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022, will create a state-level access framework that would allow people to receive legal natural medical services such as palliative care at approved health-care locations and licensed healing centers. The bill would also decriminalize the use of natural medicines, coproponent Kevin Matthews stated.
While the existence of these two bills is bound to excite industry stakeholders as well as patients who have used psychedelics such as psilocybin in the past, not everyone is happy about them.
Jeff Hunt, director of the Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, is worried about the impact legalization will have on society. He stated that Denver has already decriminalized psilocybin despite having one of the worst illicit-drug problems in the country, and he wonders what effect drug decriminalization will have on the entire state.
Some people who use psychedelics such as psilocybin as an alternative to opioids are also worried that decriminalization efforts will attract large pharmaceutical companies. The industry is projected to reach $10.75 billion in 2030, after all, and big pharma will definitely want in on those profits.
Cancer patient Alan Floyd is currently under psilocybin treatment, thanks to a Trump-era law that allows patients with life-threatening diseases to use unapproved treatments if conventional treatments aren’t effective. He argued that it would be wrong for pharmaceutical companies to come in and monopolize the industry.
That notwithstanding, for-profit companies such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) do a lot to advance the segment by conducting costly research that results in the breakthroughs that help patients. Commercialization is, therefore, vital for industry growth.
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