Denver Mayor Creates Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel

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Coming on the heels of the passing of their magic mushroom decriminalization measure in May, the city of Denver, Colorado has created the world’s first Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel (psilocybin mushrooms are also known as psychedelic mushrooms or magic mushrooms). Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has appointed Panel members who are charged with collecting and reporting on data related to the decriminalization of psilocybin in the Denver metro area.

The first deadline the new Panel faces is March 31, 2020. This is the deadline for establishing the reporting criteria for psilocybin-related contacts and arrests for the Denver City Attorney’s Office, police department, and Sheriff’s department. The Panel’s first comprehensive written report on public safety, administration, health, and the fiscal impacts of psilocybin mushroom decriminalization in Denver is due in early 2021.

One of the members of the Panel and former campaign director of the Denver Psilocybin Initiative, Kevin Matthews, told the Associated Press,

The Panel will not only report on data related to psilocybin use in Denver, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity to explore how psilocybin decriminalization can have a positive impact in our communities.

In addition to creating the reporting standards for law enforcement, the Panel plans to work with city officials for creating public service announcements, which will focus on how to use psilocybin mushrooms safely and responsibly. Harm reduction will be addressed by the Panel through training of law enforcement officers and potentially partnering with Denver’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program.

Sara Gael, Panel member and Director of Harm Reduction for the Zendo Project told the Associated Press,

A harm reduction education strategy will help us to navigate the world of psilocybin decriminalization so that decisions, priorities, and actions may be made from a place of knowledge and understanding over stigma, fear, and misinformation.

Perhaps the Panel will also be dealing with clarifying to Denverites the lingering confusion surrounding the Denver decriminalization laws. As PSR reported back in May, it is still unclear how this new law will be practically implemented in the City of Denver. It does not directly address the treatment of psilocybin mushroom extracts, products containing psilocybin mushrooms, psilocybin as a compound itself, or the multitude of other psilocybin derivatives and other currently illegal-to-posses compounds contained within the mushrooms. It is unclear how the enforcement of laws pertaining to these substances will change.

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