UPDATE: First reports were apparently incorrect. It is now being reported that the magic mushroom voter initiative did pass.
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Voters in Denver have rejected a proposal to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, and will soon participate in a runoff election to determine the city’s next mayor.
The Denver Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative was defeated by about 5,000 votes, the ballot tally showed Wednesday. It would’ve made Denver the first U.S. city to decriminalize the substance, which are often called “magic mushrooms.”
The psychedelic mushroom measure trailed early Wednesday — with 52 percent opposed to decriminalizing mushrooms and 48 in support, results showed. While the drug would have remained illegal to buy, sell and possession, it would have made such activity the lowest priority in the city’s revised municipal code.
The psilocybin found in mushrooms is a hallucinogenic substance ingested orally that’s long been popular among young people in clubs and on college campuses. The campaign that supported the measure, Decriminalize Denver, argued for the mushrooms’ medical benefits.
Voters also cast ballots in Denver’s mayoral race Tuesday. Incumbent Mayor Michael B. Hancock (39 percent) and former RiNo Arts District President Jamie Giellis (26 percent) will advance to a runoff to decide the race after neither reached the 50 percent threshold. The runoff is set for June 4.
“We didn’t lose anything tonight,” Hancock, who’s seeking a third term, said. “We get another chance to prove to voters in Denver that we’re moving in the right direction.”
Giellis, in her first run at public office, called Tuesday’s results a success.
“The people of Denver have spoken,” she told the Denver Post. “They have sent a clear message that they are done with the direction this city is headed under the current mayor, Michael Hancock. And let me just say, I am ready for the fight, ready for the fight.”
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