Colorado Voters Delivered a Win for Pharmacological Freedom
A decade ago, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, something 20 other states have done since then. Colorado set a new precedent for drug policy reform in November, when its voters approved a ballot initiative that decriminalizes a wide range of conduct related to consuming five natural psychedelics.
Proposition 122 also authorizes state-licensed “healing centers” where adults 21 or older can obtain and use psychedelics. It represents the broadest loosening of legal restrictions on psychedelics the United States has ever seen.
The 2022 elections contributed to the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition. Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved recreational legalization, raising to 21 the number of states that let adults consume cannabis without a medical justification. At the same time, voters in three red states that allow medical use—Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota—declined to go further.
Despite those setbacks, recognizing marijuana as a medicine generally has paved the way to broader liberalization. Starting with California in 1996, 37 states have allowed patients to use marijuana for symptom relief, and most of them eventually legalized recreational consumption as well.
The Proposition 122 campaign built on that model by describing five psychedelics found in fungi and plants as “natural medicine.” But that designation is inherently ambiguous, and the initiative goes far beyond allowing the use of psychedelics in drug-assisted psychotherapy.
Proposition 122 defines “natural medicine” to include psilocybin, psilocyn (another psychoactive component of “magic mushrooms”), dimethyltryptamine (DMT, the active ingredient in ayahuasca), ibogaine (a psychedelic derived from the root bark of
Article from Reason.com