Unofficial results indicate Denver has become first city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms

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When are the results are certified on May 16, Denver will officially become the first in the United States to decriminalize "magic" mushrooms.

After trailing in results on Tuesday night, the final numbers have shown a reversal of fortune - with Initiative 301 passing narrowly with 50.6 per cent of the vote. It says "the Denver Election Division has an 8-day certification period for military and absentee ballots to be returned, and for voters to fix and signature discrepancies".

The ordinance would have made the enforcement of laws prohibiting magic mushrooms "the city's lowest law-enforcement priority" and would have prohibited the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties on adults over 21 who use or possess the drug.

Organizers turned to the same strategy that marijuana activists used to decriminalize pot possession in the city in 2005.

But Mr Matthews' group Decriminalise Denver, which was behind the initiative, argued that certain mushrooms "may be helpful in the treatment of cluster headaches, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] and OCD [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder]".

Passage would once again put Colorado at the forefront of American drug legalization after it became one of the first two states to vote to legalise marijuana in 2012 - though not all residents approve. "It provides a great deal of lasting advantages, months and weeks following one experience".

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For decades, magic mushrooms have been attractive in certain religious practices due to their powerful hallucinogenic effects, and the substance has since gained mass appeal in terms of recreational use.

Much like the increasing rash of laws decriminalizing or legalizing recreational marijuana, the change will not completely eliminate legal liability for possession or use of psilocybin, which remains a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Decriminalization led by a slim 51%, according to preliminary figures on Tuesday's election released by Denver's Election Division. But recent research has suggested psilocybin could be potentially used to treat anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and alcoholism.

The federal government classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I drugs, with no goal and a higher potential for misuse. Users have described seeing vivid colors and geometric patterns, and experiencing powerful spiritual connections and emotions. Those same effects have appealed to recreational users dating back to the 1960s counterculture movement.

Denver's mayor and top prosecutor opposed the initiative, but there was no organized campaign against decriminalization.

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