Colorado

Colorado has decriminalized psilocybin and other natural psychedelics statewide through Proposition 122, also known as the Natural Medicine Health Act, which was approved by voters in November 2022. This legislation decriminalizes the personal use and possession of psilocybin for individuals over 21, and establishes a framework for regulated access through licensed healing centers.

 

 

Statewide Decriminalization

Proposition 122 decriminalizes the possession, use, and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms, as well as other natural psychedelics such as DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline (excluding peyote), for individuals over the age of 21. This law took effect in January 2023, eliminating criminal penalties for these activities when conducted for personal use​.

 

 

Regulated Access and Healing Centers

While the law does not permit retail sales of these substances, it does allow for the creation of licensed healing centers where individuals can use psilocybin in a supervised setting. The regulatory framework for these centers is being developed, with the expectation that they will begin operations by late 2024. Governor Jared Polis has signed Senate Bill 23-290 to implement and regulate this system​​.

 

 

Local Control and Regulations

Local governments in Colorado cannot ban these healing centers but may impose regulations on their operation, such as time, place, and manner restrictions. Personal cultivation of psychedelics is allowed on private property, within specified limits​.

 

 

Colorado Constitution

Article II, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution guarantees the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination. It states: “The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed”​​. This section provides a strong foundation for protecting religious practices, including those involving entheogens, provided they do not disrupt public peace or safety.

 

 

Practical Implications

Religious practitioners and other individuals interested in using psilocybin in Colorado benefit from significant legal protections due to statewide decriminalization. However, federal prohibitions on these substances still apply, meaning that individuals could face legal challenges at the federal level. It is advisable to stay informed about local regulations and seek legal counsel if necessary to navigate these complexities.

 

 

Sources

Colorado Proposition 122

 

Colorado Senate Bill 23-290

 

Article II, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution

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