'Magic mushroom' decriminalization on Denver ballot

DENVER (AP) - Denver is deciding this week whether to become the first U.S. city to decriminalize the psychedelic substance in "magic mushrooms."

A citizen-led initiative appearing on ballots Tuesday follows the path that led to marijuana's legalization in Denver and later in Colorado. Campaign organizers say their only goal is to prevent people from going to jail.

Small research studies have found psilocybin had positive effects on anxiety and depression for cancer patients but it remains illegal. Described as a psychedelic or hallucinogen, psilocybin has been used in religious practices for its effect on users' perceptions and spiritual experiences. The effects also appeal to recreational users.

The Denver initiative would make its use or possession by people 21 and older the lowest priority for law enforcement. There has been little organized opposition.

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