Denver first in U.S. to decriminalize psychedelic shrooms


Denver first in U.S. to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms

 By | | The Denver PostPUBLISHED: May 8, 2019 at 4:30 pm | UPDATED: May 9, 2019 at 11:34 am   

Peter Dejong, The Associated PressPsychedelic mushrooms are seen at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands, in this 2007 file photo.

Denver is poised to become the first city in the nation to effectively decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

After closing an early vote deficit Tuesday night and early Wednesday, final unofficial results posted late in the afternoon showed a reversal of fortune — with Initiative  301 set to pass narrowly with 50.6 percent of the vote. The total stands  at 89,320 votes in favor and 87,341 against, a margin of 1,979.

The Denver Elections Division will continue accepting military and  overseas ballots, but typically those numbers are small. Results will be  certified May 16.

“It’s been one hell of a 21 and a half hours,” Initiative 301  campaign manager Kevin Matthews said. “If these results hold, this is an  example of the absurd comedy of the great metaphor. Against all odds,  we prevailed. This is what happens when a small team of dedicated and  passionate people unite under a single idea to create change.”

RELATED: Find out who your new Denver City Council member is — or if you have to vote again

Denver’s vote has attracted national attention.  While efforts are afoot to get psilocybin-related measures on the  ballot in Oregon and California in 2020, Denver hosted the first-ever  U.S. popular vote on the matter, according to organizers. An earlier  effort in California last year failed to qualify for the ballot.

Though Initiative 301 attracted no organized opposition, critics of  Colorado’s legalization of marijuana lamented the prospect of Denver  blazing yet another trail they see as misguided and potentially harmful.

The measure essentially tells police to look the other way on adult psilocybin use.

“We’ll see what the final numbers are, but we’re a little stunned to  see a 7,000-vote flip overnight on that,” said Jeff Hunt, director of  the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, who initially questioned on Twitter whether vote-tampering was involved. “We’ll continue to fight the  growing drug culture. Denver’s becoming the illicit drug capital of the  world. The larger issue here is not good for our city.”

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Smoking Psychedelic Toad Milk Could Alleviate Depression


Smoking Psychedelic Toad Milk Could Alleviate Depression For Up To 4 Weeks

If you’ve tried holistic and allopathic treatments to remedy your  depression, but still feel as if you’re at the end of your rope…  psychedelic toad milk could be the answer. According to a new study  published in the journal Psychopharmacology, smoking the milky, psychoactive secretion of the Colorado River toad, or Bufo alvarius, could provide a fast-acting and extremely potent alternative for managing depression.

As IFLScience reports, the North American toad excretes a whiteish substance that  contains a compound called 5-MeO-DMT, which is a variation of DMT. The  component is also found in the mild-altering psychedelic brew ayahuasca. Researchers  found that when the “toad milk” is dried and smoked, a short yet  mind-blowing psychedelic experience takes place. As the ego dissolves,  one supposably receives (or remembers?) mystical insights. It is for  this reason the toad gunge is being used at alternative healing retreats  by underground therapists as a means of resolving psychological and  emotional disorders.

The researchers wanted to determine the efficacy of toad milk, so  they conducted a series of psychiatric tests to examine the impact of  smoking the secretion on 42 participants. The authors determined that  the average depression ratings decreased by 18 percent within one day of  inhaling the substance. Furthermore, anxiety was reduced by 39 percent  and stress by 27 percent.


Four weeks after the initial trial, the team conducted a follow-up  analysis. They found that depression ratings had declined 68 percent  below baseline levels. Meanwhile, anxiety and stress dropped 56 and 48  percent respectively.

The researchers hypothesize that the anti-depressant effect is caused  by an increase in neurogenesis, based on previous findings that  5-MeO-DMT can stimulate neuronal growth and development. “Alternatively, they say that the compound may help to alleviate neuropsychiatric diseases by binding to sigma-1 receptors in the brain, which then has a regulatory effect on inflammation,” reports IFLScience.

Despite the encouraging finding, the authors are hesitant to share  their work. The primary concern is that the toad may be exploited  through the black market. However, synthetic 5-MeO-DMT should be easy to  synthesize in a lab. In fact, a study by John Hopkins University  researchers found that 80 percent of people who used the synthetic version reported a reduction in both depression and anxiety.

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Magic Mushrooms Can ‘Reset’ the Brains of Depressed People


Magic Mushrooms Can ‘Reset’ the Brains of Depressed People

 Magic Mushrooms Can ‘Reset’ the Brains of Depressed People, Study Shows The groundbreaking study was conducted by researchers at Imperial College London.

Magic Mushrooms Can ‘Reset’ the Brains of Depressed People Avatar_user_45823_1556135996-32x32
 Truth Theory  

(TT) — Psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” continues to  show promise as a natural treatment for anxiety and depression.

In fact, in a recently-published study, reduced symptoms were recorded weeks after depressed patients supplemented the fungi. Furthermore, before and after brain scans showed significant changes in brain activity associated with depressive symptoms.
The study was conducted by researchers at Imperial College London. Twenty  patients with treatment-resistant depression received two doses of  psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg) one week apart. Nineteen had brain imaging  done before the treatment and “after” scans were taken after the second  treatment. The MRI images were used to compare changes in blood flow and  in communication between the brain regions.
Researchers first  observed reduced blood flow in the temporal cortex. They also saw  decreased blood flow in the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region  which helps to process emotional responses (such as fear, stress, and  anger). A significant relationship between decreased blood flow in the  region and reduced depressive symptoms was noted.

Participants  also filled out questionnaires to report on their mental states. They  noted a lightening of their depression after the treatments, as well as  the feeling that their brains had somehow changed. “Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies,”explained Robin Carhart-Harris, who led the study.
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“For  example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a  computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted.’ Psilocybin may  be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to  break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do  tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these  have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”

The  finding offers an exciting glimpse into brain networks, which  disintegrate under the influence of psychedelics but possibly  re-integrate afterward. It also supports previous research which  suggests that psilocybin is more effective at dissolving the root cause  of mental conditions, including anxiety and depression, than  pharmaceutical drugs. 
In a recent study,  Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris compared the two approaches. He found that  participants who supplement with psilocybin often experience a cathartic  “release” whereas folks who are prescribed pharmaceutical drugs  regularly feel emotionally “blunted.” “If you ask people who are taking SSRIs chronically, they often say ‘I feel blunted’,” Dr. Carhart-Harris told The Independent“With  psilocybin therapy they say the opposite, they talk about an emotional  release, a reconnection, and this key emotional centre being more  responsive.”

This latest study provides more evidence for psilocybin’s potential as an antidepressant.  More research is needed, of course. However, the future is hopeful for  individuals who suffer from painful and oftentimes debilitating mental  conditions.

By Amanda Froelich | | Republished with permission

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