Competing Groups Submit Psychedelic Decriminalization Measures for Colorado Ballot

Activists in Colorado have gathered tens of thousands of signatures to put psychedelic reform on the ballot come November. There are two main groups that have vastly different competing initiatives that they hope to see on the ballot, but what exactly would each of them accomplish? And which would be best for the state of Colorado and the psychedelics community at large? Let’s find out!

Competing Groups 

There are measures being taken by two competing groups in Colorado, both with the aim of legalizing psilocybin and other psychedelic substances.

One such group is Natural Medicine Colorado, a campaign funded by the national New Approach PAC. They filed multiple reform initiatives before deciding on one to pursue in March which would make it lawful to possess certain psychedelics, establish approved psilocybin “healing centers” where people can take the chemical for therapeutic purposes, and provide a process for prior convictions to be sealed.

The group has made great progress in the approximate two months since being approved for petitioning by state authorities.

According to Kevin Matthews, a chief petitioner who previously served as the campaign manager for Denver’s historic 2019 vote to decriminalize psilocybin locally, the group has been collecting signatures for about six weeks and has approximately 40% of the 124,632 signatures they need from voters to appear on the ballot this November.

“We’re looking forward to completing our signature collection in the coming months and getting started this fall to deliver Colorado-regulated access to natural medicine,” he added.

Similarly, Decriminalize Nature Colorado, a different campaign that has taken issue with several of the rules outlined in the Natural Medicine Colorado legislation launched a rival initiative in January, and activists are working to catch up in signature accumulation.

The group’s supporters began collecting signatures for the plan in April, and they’ve held events across the state where people may learn more about it and sign the petition.

Purpose Of Each Campaign

The Natural Health Medicine Act initiative, should it be successful, would allow individuals aged 21 and older to possess, use, cultivate, and share psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (not derived from peyote), DMT, and psilocybin, with no specific possession limit as well as no measures for recreational use or sale.

The Department of Regulatory Agencies would be in charge of drafting guidelines for a therapeutic psychedelics program in which adults aged 21 and up could go to a licensed healing center and receive therapy under the supervision of a qualified facilitator.

Only psilocybin would be allowed for therapeutic use at licensed healing facilities until June 2026 under the initiative’s two-tiered regulatory architecture. Regulators could then decide whether or not to allow controlled therapeutic use of DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline.

The Department of Regulatory Agencies would decide whether to add more chemicals to the program after consulting with a new 15-member Natural Medicine Advisory Board, which comprises experienced individuals in scientific and religious regards with psychedelic medicine.

Additionally, convicts who have served their time in relation to an offense rendered legal under the new initiative could also petition the courts to have their records sealed. If the district attorney makes no objections, the court must automatically clear the record.

The Decriminalize Nature Colorado one-page proposal presented by the campaign would make it so that adults aged 21 and older are able to possess, cultivate, give, and distribute psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline, and DMT. Furthermore, the proposal states that providing psychedelic services for guidance, therapy, harm reduction, and spiritual objectives, with or without money, would be legal, however, selling any of the psychedelics would be illegal.

While both initiatives have the intention of introducing decriminalization measures in regards to psychedelics, they each have vastly different effects should they be successful. It seems that the Decriminalize Nature Colorado initiative has a more inclusive approach to the psychedelic family of plants, and we do hope that they manage to accrue the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot – as it would be a major win for the psychedelic industry.

Support For Decriminalization Of Psychedelics 

When asked about the prospects of psychedelics reform in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis (D) admitted that activists are working to get the issue on the ballot, and he stated his support for the idea of decriminalizing the substances.

We at Beard Bros stand with Colorado activists in supporting the decriminalization of psychedelics, as do many other states.

Connecticut’s governor recently approved a large-scale budget measure that includes provisions to set the state up to give psychedelic-assisted treatment utilizing substances like MDMA and psilocybin to specific patients.

Maryland legislators recently submitted the governor a bill that would establish a state fund to provide “cost-free” access to psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine to military veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

Last month, the Maine Senate passed a bill to establish a medicinal psilocybin program, but the House of Representatives declined to support it.

Similar studies, investigations, bills, and initiatives are being introduced regarding psychedelics – mainly for medical purposes – in states such as Georgia, Utah, Missouri, Washington, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and more.

It is clear that change is in the air surrounding more than just cannabis. Psychedelics have also long faced prohibition in the United States, and we are excited at the prospect of this changing along with the cannabis reforms that are underway. We hope to see the Decriminalize Nature Colorado initiative on the ballot come November.

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