DENVER – A measure to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in the city of Denver passed by a thin margin, election officials confirmed Wednesday.
Initiative 301 will decriminalize the possession or use of the mushrooms by locals who are at least 21 years old.
Early projections had the measure failing, but the final tally found the measure passed by 1,979 votes. The votes will be officially certified on May 16.
The language of Initiative 301 prohibits "the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties" for personal use, possession and growth of mushrooms.
"No one deserves to go to jail and lose their family, their livelihood, their jobs for something that has a therapeutic benefit," said Decriminalize Denver campaign manager Kevin Matthews ahead of the vote.
Others worry it's giving Denver a bad name.
“Denver is quickly becoming the illicit drug capital of the world,” said Jeff Hunt, vice president of public policy for Colorado Christian University. “The truth is we have no idea what the long-term health effects of these drugs are going to do to the people of Colorado.”
The initiative will establish the "psilocybin mushroom policy review panel to assess and report on the effects of the ordinance," much like the panel in place for marijuana.
Psilocybin mushrooms are classified as an illegal drug by the federal government.
Marijuana is also classified federally as illegal, but that didn't stop Colorado from approving recreational marijuana use in 2012.
Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana in January 2014.