After the 2022 midterm elections, Colorado became the second state to decriminalize (and subsequentially legalize) recreational psychedelics. However, such laws don’t necessarily mean you’ll start finding psilocybin in dispensaries.
To begin, only certain substances were legalized. These include:
- Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
- Mescaline (minus peyote)
Under Prop 122, this measure was approved by 1.2 million voters (about 53% of the total vote). As of now, the only other state to have such legalization measures is Oregon – which passed a bill in 2020 (with a 55% vote) legalizing recreational psychedelics.
Still, such measures don’t mean you’ll be finding psychedelics readily available in shops. In fact, there is nothing within Prop 122 that sets regulations and allows for the sale of psychedelics (with one exception, which we’ll get to below).
Instead, this bill is meant to act purely for two reasons: to give people the legal right to these medicines and to further research.
According to Kevin Mathews, coalition director for National Medicine Colorado, “The intent was to make these medicines accessible to as many people in Colorado who could possibly benefit, and especially for those suffering from things like major depression, extreme anxiety, PTSD, end-of-life distress, and other ailments. People at the very least deserve the choice and the freedom to work with these medicines.”
With that said, the ballot measure simply decriminalizes possession of these drugs. In other words, you can no longer be prosecuted for having small amounts on you at a time.
However, in comparison to Oregon’s legalization, Colorado does take this a few steps further. Beyond the extra psychedelics added to the list, it also allows for “healing centers” to open. These are licensed facilities managed by the Department of Regulatory Agencies that allow people to purchase and consume psychedelics under supervision.
Such facilities are set to launch in late 2024 and will be available for anyone looking for this alternative therapy.
With the passage of this bill, many are looking at what’s occurring in the United States as a “psychedelic renaissance.” More and more of the general population is not only becoming interested in these substances but using them as a means of treating a versatile selection of conditions.
Furthermore, with legalization, Colorado scientists will now have the opportunity to do deeper research into these substances. And this will prove to be an essential element in ensuring the “healing centers” are fully optimized.