It is not a hallucination. It really happened. Denver voters apparently decriminalized hallucinogenic mushrooms Tuesday, securing the city’s image as The New Amsterdam-plus.
Even Amsterdam, the city best known for liberal drug laws, outlawed the mere possession of dry and fresh psychoactive mushrooms in 2008. That move came after years of enduring consistent problems with tourists losing connection with reality, including the teenage girl who hallucinated and jumped to her death off a bridge.
Psychedelic ’shrooms contain the Class 1 drug psilocybin, tolerated by no other jurisdiction in North America. No city or country in any direction for more than 5,000 miles tolerates the possession and/or consumption of this hallucinogenic.
With Tuesday’s apparent victory for initiated ordinance 301, Denver will make enforcement against psilocybin the lowest priority of the criminal justice system — lower than jaywalking. The vote eliminates any serious disincentive to use or possess the drug.
The Department of Justice reports psilocybin users experience “hallucinations and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose.”
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration warns psilocybin causes nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness and lack of coordination. “Overdose may result in psychosis or death,” the DEA reports.
By doing this, voters made national news and shocked much of the rest of the world when word got out Wednesday. “Holy cow, Martha, look what they’re doing in Colorado this time. First the pot thing, and now this. What’s next, heroin? Meth?”
Well, in fact, in November the Denver City Council voted 12-1 to fund and operate a heroin and methamphetamine consumption site, providing addicts with more dangerous drugs than psilocybin. If they succeed in convincing the Colorado Legislature to go along with it, city politicians will open an illicit drug house in blatant violation of federal law. Such cool hipsters, they are. Only Councilman Kevin Flynn, a veteran Rocky Mountain News reporter, voted against dealing heroin and meth.
With Tuesday’s apparent decision by a slim majority of a small percentage who bothered to vote, Denver becomes the world’s undisputed playground for recreational drugs. Hallucinogenic drug users will move to the city and visit for mind-numbing escapes from reality. Dealers and distributors will relocate to Denver, knowing enforcement against their products are the lowest priority of law enforcement.
It is a sad day for Colorado when the state’s economic and cultural hub becomes the developed world’s central drug orgy.
Oddly, Denver’s magic fungi mistake could bode well for Colorado Springs — the region’s other big city.
The Springs and Denver compete for residents, tourists and businesses. We routinely trade rank on lists of best places to live, best places to start small businesses and other such honorifics. Demographers anticipate Colorado Springs will overtake Denver as Colorado’s largest city within the next three decades.
As Denver continues embracing the drug culture, Colorado Springs should hold its ground and resist the financial temptation to allow retail sales of recreational pot. In doing so, the city has little chance of accepting government-sponsored heroin houses, decriminalized hallucinogens, or any other such craziness.
Colorado Springs should distinguish itself as Denver’s alter ego — the place business executives, professionals, workers and tourists feel safe to bring their kids. If Denver attracts drug users, the Springs should continue attracting families fighting to keep children off drugs.