Six states had drug liberalization measures on the ballot this US midterm cycle. Voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota could determine the legalization of recreational marijuana, while Colorado residents considered becoming the second state to legalize so-called magic mushrooms, which contain substances increasingly used for therapeutic purposes. decriminalize.
The results were mixed.
👎Voters in the southern states of North Dakota and South Dakota rejected proposals to legalize the possession and use of marijuana as in Arkansas, where the ballot also included the liberalization of the commercial sale of marijuana. All three states already allow medical marijuana.
👍 In Maryland and Missouri, there was resounding support for the liberalization measure, and the possession and use of marijuana will become legal in those states in 2023 for adults 21 and older. This will bring the total number of US states where recreational marijuana is legal to 21, plus Washington, DC
The results show where opposition would come from if President Joe Biden reviewed the status of marijuana under federal law. Both marijuana and magic mushrooms are currently considered class A drugs, on the same level as heroin, LSD and ecstasy, and above cocaine and oxycontin.
Colorado’s Magic Mushrooms Ballot
As of this writing, it was still too early to name the Colorado measure, Proposition 122. With 80% of the vote counted, legalization supporters had a 51% majority.
If that result is confirmed, Colorado — which has been a pioneer state in the commercialization of marijuana — would join Oregon in decriminalizing the possession and use of certain psychedelic plants and mushrooms for residents and tourists at least 21 years old, and the state would create “healing centers” where the drugs would be administered under the supervision of facilitators.
Fun fact: Natural psychedelics have already been decriminalized in part of Colorado
In May 2019, Denver became the first city in the country to remove criminal penalties for possession of magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics. Oakland, California followed a month later. Michigan’s Ann Arbor and Seattle in Washington took the same stance.
Coloradoans for and against the legalization of magic mushrooms
Supporters of the ballot initiative argue it would:
🩺 allows psychedelics to be used to treat mental health issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, addiction and more,
💰 Save taxpayers money by not jailing people for non-violent offenses
But dissenters also have a case to make:
🔎 The FDA has not approved psychedelics as a medical drug
💭 It would send the wrong message to adults and children about drug use and abuse
Regardless, voting is only the first step. In Oregon, state authorities have yet to come up with a legal framework – they have until the end of this year. Colorado would have until the end of 2024.
Meanwhile, the Centennial State should expect continued pushback. Already, individual counties in Oregon are launching local ballot initiatives to ban the production and distribution of psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
By the numbers: The legal drug industry
18: number of states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized marijuana outside of medical use
1,300: marijuana-related bills in Congress in 2021
$1 billion: combined revenue that Maryland and Missouri could generate in the first year from adult marijuana sales
$32 billion: US marijuana industry forecast sales for 2022, up from $26.5 billion a year earlier
1 million: jobs that could be created by 2025 if the use of marijuana is legalized in all 50 states
$1,500 to $7,000: How much can psilocybin experiences cost in oregon
$30 or $2,000: How much magic mushroom centers in Colorado can charge for an hour or for a day respectively
46%: Part of the signature requirement California activists managed to rally to put magic mushroom legalization on the ballot issue for this month’s midterms. It wasn’t enough, but they intend to try again next time
🍄 What the US magic mushroom market could look like
😶🌫️ Biden just took the first step to legitimize the cannabis industry
📘 John Fetterman to browse Pennsylvania blue is one for the books
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