Colorado has become the first state in the nation to legalize psychedelics, a move that could pave the way for other states to follow suit. On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis issued a proclamation officially declaring the results of a ballot initiative that voters approved last month, making certain psychedelics legal to possess and grow in the state.

From the proclamation:

“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning legal regulated access to natural medicine for persons 21 years of age or older, and, in connection therewith, defining natural medicine as certain plants or fungi that affect a person’s mental health and are controlled substances under state law; establishing a natural medicine regulated access program for supervised care, and requiring the department of regulatory agencies to implement the program and comprehensively regulate natural medicine to protect public health and safety; creating an advisory board to advise the department as to the implementation of the program; granting a local government limited authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of providing natural medicine services; allowing limited personal possession, use, and uncompensated sharing of natural medicine; providing specified protections under state law, including criminal and civil immunity, for authorized providers and users of natural medicine; and, in limited circumstances, allowing the retroactive removal and reduction of criminal penalties related to the possession, use, and sale of natural medicine?”

The initiative covers psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (not derived from peyote), DMT, and psilocyn, and allows adults 21 and older to possess, cultivate, and share these substances. While there are still several steps that must be taken to fully implement the reform, such as creating “healing centers” for supervised psychedelic sessions, the measure legalizes “personal use” amounts of the included psychedelics.

This move could be a major step forward in the fight for psychedelic reform, as Colorado is the first state in the nation to legalize psychedelics. This could open the door for other states to follow suit, and could lead to more research into the potential therapeutic benefits of these substances.

Photo by Kait Herzog on Unsplash

By Molly Cowell

Molly is a freelance writer who lives in Hamburg, Germany.

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