Proposal 122: The decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms is over, but not everyone is excited about it

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – Colorado Proposition 122 has been officially adopted. 52% of Coloradans voted in favor of the proposal and 47% against. The ballot proposal decriminalized the possession of psilocybin mushrooms for adults 21 and older and eventually allowed state-licensed treatment centers to administer the drug under the supervision of trained staff.

Anthony Caballero, a former army veteran, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2019. He said he was blown up by two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during his deployment. Caballero suffers from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He said he tried to get help from Veterans Affairs (VA), but he said nothing helped.

Credit: Anthony Caballero

“I’ve had suicidal attempts and thoughts,” Caballero said.

He decided something had to change. White at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Caballero began researching the use of psilocybin mushrooms. He ended up trying them himself and says it changed his life.

“It helped me process all the trauma I went through and all the trauma I couldn’t face. I was able to grapple with it and think about it in a new light.”

Caballero says he’s glad this proposal was accepted.

“I’m just happy that people are getting help.”

However, Luke Niforatos, the chair of Protect Colorado Kids, the committee that opposes Proposition 122, said he doesn’t deny that this drug can help people, but said the drug needs to stay in controlled environments to ensure patient safety.

“For example, fentanyl helps people in hospital settings in very controlled environments. We have a hospital environment that people receive. Does that mean I think a company will be formed around fentanyl and fentanyl will be sold by healing centers in our state? No it does not. Does that mean I’m denying that fentanyl can help people? No, absolutely not. It means that science has said that this is useful in certain situations and we should follow these settings for patient safety,” said Niforatos.

Niforatos believes questions about drug legalization should be left to doctors, not voters.

“I don’t want to vote on every single drug that Big Pharma develops. I want scientists to review these drugs and tell us what’s safe and what’s not,” Niforaots said.