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Decriminalize Denver, 3 years on: A campaign that had a ripple effect throughout the country

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Posted at 11:58 AM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 13:58:34-04

DENVER – It’s been three years since Denver voted to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms to deprioritize law enforcement actions against the possession of psilocybin, and to mark the occasion, activists fighting for that change gathered to celebrate at Cheesman Park Saturday.

Marijuana was legal and people have this feeling of just like, what's the difference between this plant and this fungus? Why is this plant available in stores on every corner, and this fungus you go to jail for?” said freelance reporter Reilly Capps.

Initially thinking it would take five years to decriminalize magic mushrooms, Capps said he was surprised it only took three years for the decriminalize movement to coalesce.

“So that story was just fascinating to watch it evolve and grow and grow and grow,“ he said, adding that more people started getting interested in the movement, including lawyers and influencers.

Decriminalize Denver campaign organizer Travis Tyler Fluck also shared how Denver’s passing of the ballot initiative had a ripple effect throughout the country, inspiring other cities across the nation to launch their own campaigns.

“Within 18 months of us passing by .5%, Washington D.C. voted on decriminalizing all entheogens and it was able to pass 76% (on the) yes (vote). It's really beautiful to be able to reflect in that way, to see that every time I went outside and collected signatures in 10-degree weather, that it meant something. We won by such a narrow margin that it really showed that each and every person contributed to pulling that win over the line, and I think that that is an important new story that we need in our culture today,” Fluck said. “The interbeingness of it, that my fate is wrapped up in yours.”