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  • Denver Panel Holds Meeting To Implement Psilocybin Decriminalization

On Tuesday, The Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel held its second meeting to discuss how to effectively implement Denver’s psychedelic decriminalization law. The panel was formed last year after voters in the city approved Initiative 301, a bill that moves offenses related to psychedelic fungi to the “lowest law enforcement priority.”

 

Last month, the panel held its first meeting with law enforcement, psychedelic advocates and city officials. At the end of the second meeting, an agreement was reached on the criteria for law enforcement to report psilocybin mushroom activity, including what is to be included in police reports as the city of Denver monitors the implementation of the law.

 

Although the meeting was initially planned to be held in-person, self-quarantine measures put in place in order to hinder the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, caused the panel to shift to holding the meeting via video conference. A recording of the meeting was published on the Facebook page for The Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform, and Education (SPORE).

 

 

A list shared with Marijuana Moment included the data that the panel agreed law enforcement should track:

 

a. age (adults and juveniles)

b. location of offense

c. offense (possession, distribution, cultivation)

d. quantity involved

e. prosecutions – resolutions

f. race

g. other drugs involved

h. current mental health data

i. behavioral data around police encounter (including status of intoxication)

j. encounters that did not result in an arrest

 

Members of the panel also considered how to most productively train law enforcement, first responders and mental health professionals in harm reduction techniques to work with those under the influence of psilocybin or various psychedelics.

 

“This is something that I really support,” said Kevin Matthews, a key committee member and advocate that led the movement to decriminalize psilocybin in Denver. “And I think, overall, the more that we can inform and educate first responders—or really anybody who comes into contact with folks who may be under the influence of psilocybin or other psychedelics—if they have this specific harm reduction toolkit or training available to employ, I think it could be pretty valuable.”

 

After Denver became the first municipality in the United States to pass a measure to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in May of 2019, cities and counties across the nation have begun to push for the approval of similar bills. Months later, the city of Oakland, California followed Denver in placing psilocybin at the lowest law enforcement priority with a unanimous vote. In January 2020, the Santa Cruz, California City Council passed a similar resolution with a unanimous vote. In Oregon, the Oregon Psilocybin Society has so far collected over 100,000 signatures in hopes to qualify for a ballot measure in November. In Washington, D.C. advocates for the legalization of psychedelics have begun exploring ways to collect electronic signatures in adaptation to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Denver Panel Holds Meeting To Implement Psilocybin Decriminalization
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