The following authors contribute
In May 2019, Denver became the first city in the United States to decriminalize personal possession, cultivation and storage of psilocybin mushrooms. The initiative also created the Denver Psilocybin Policy Review Panel (“Panel”), which was required to report back to the City on the public safety and other impacts of decriminalization. On November 9, 2021, the Panel delivered its report to the Denver City Council, which can be reviewed here. The Panel included representatives of law enforcement, the Denver District Attorney’s Office, harm reduction experts, licensed therapists, and proponents of the original measure. After meeting for over a year, the Panel issued unanimous findings and recommendations that included the following:
- There has been no major increase in arrests related to the distribution of psilocybin mushrooms and no major cartel elements or organized crime. According to limited and preliminary university-level observational research for Colorado, most individuals set a positive intention prior to use and reported using psilocybin mushrooms for self exploration and mental health.
- There have been no significant negative impacts on public safety as a result of decriminalizing psilocybin possession in the City of Denver.
- The City should train first responders to recognize and safely respond to persons undergoing psychedelic crisis.
- The City should produce educational public service announcements to inform the public about safety, responsible use, and available risk reduction services.
- The City should create a data collection reporting system for any interactions involving psilocybin for ongoing public safety monitoring.
- The City should decriminalize or make the lowest law enforcement priority the sharing/gifting of psilocybin without remuneration.
- The City should make the communal use of psilocybin among the lowest law enforcement priority.
- The City should expand voting Panel members to be more representative of Denver’s diversity.
- The City should determine how psilocybin therapy can be applied to address mental health issues in Denver.