Results of the vote have been updated since this article was written and now show the measure narrowly passing. Read that story here.
Voters of Denver, Colorado appear to have narrowly rejected a measure today that would de-prioritize the enforcement of laws that prohibit the use and possession of psilocybin mushrooms. As of 7:30pm Mountain time, the City of Denver reported that of the 93,998 voters who properly voted on the measure, 42,703 votes (45%) were cast for Initiated Ordinance 301 and 51,285 votes (55%) were cast against. The city also reported 5,049 voters “under voted”, meaning they did not select either option (7 voters also selected both options, removing their votes from the count). There are 418,546 total registered voters in Denver. These results show all 356 precincts reporting.
According to the Denver Post, “Opponents worr[ied] that approving the initiative [would] reinforce Denver’s reputation as a drug-friendly city.” One Denver resident who opposed by the vote was quoted by the Post as saying, “We already have legalized marijuana. We don’t need to add more drugs to the list.” Voters who voted “Yes” on the measure cited various reasons for their support, from reduction in costs due to reduced arrests to opportunities for medical research and the wording of the measure that favored decriminalization over legalization.
As proponents of begin to unpack the reasons for the vote’s failure, an early signal has emerged: the “under votes” for this ballot measure were the highest of any question (with multiple options) on the ballot. 5,049 (over 5% of) voters did not select either of the “Yes” or “No” options. This compares to the 3,417 under votes on the “Right to Survive” initiative, which was soundly defeated with 84.4% of voters rejecting the measure. This data may indicate that voters did not feel adequately enough informed to make an educated decision on the topic.