In November 2022, Colorado became the second state in the nation to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin for people 21 and older. This is a confusing law for Colorado, where we now see marijuana for sale on every other block. This retail culture will not be true of mushrooms, and many people don’t understand that distinction.
So, I thought I’d dive into some of the details. Also, I want to address the sticky question of driving under the influence of psilocybin, also known as “magic mushrooms.”
Colorado’s New Psilocybin Law
Known as the “Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022,” this law decriminalizes the possession of several substances, including psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine and mescaline. (The law does not, however, decriminalize mescaline extracted from peyote.)
The decriminalization happened in early January 2023, so it is now legal for those over 21 to grow and possess their own mushrooms.
But “decriminalizing” the drug does not mean we will see shroom shops on every corner. In fact, it is still illegal to sell any of these drugs. People may grow their own, and even share them with others, but they cannot sell them. And the plants cannot be grown near people who are under 21 years old.
After decriminalization, the next big impact of this law is the opening of “healing centers” where people will be able to pay to use psilocybin and psilocin in a supervised setting. This is the main goal for a lot of people who are eager to use mushrooms safely—they are dealing with mental health conditions and want to see if the plants provide relief.
However, those centers likely won’t open until late 2024 because it will take time to establish licensing rules and protocols. Then, in 2026, the state will consider whether to add DMT, ibogaine and non-peyote mescaline to the healing centers.
Driving While Under the Influence of Shrooms
As soon as the mushroom law passed, I was asked, “Is it illegal to drive under the influence of mushrooms?” Short answer: Yes.
You are not allowed to drive while under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms, nor any of their psychoactive ingredients (psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, and ibogaine).
Essentially, if you are driving under the influence of any drug that impairs your ability to drive, you can be prosecuted under Colorado’s existing laws. And if you think officers “won’t be able to tell” if you’re driving under the influence of mushrooms, think again.
Colorado Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) are trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of all sorts of drugs, including alcohol.
So, if you are asking this question: “Is it illegal to drive while using psilocybin in Colorado?” My advice is, don’t do it. Not only is it illegal, but you could kill someone.
And on that note, if you were hit by a driver under the influence of shrooms, call me immediately. While the DUI laws are clear, these plants were only recently decriminalized, and you are going to get a lot of bad advice from friends and so-called experts.
Because the same DUI and DWAI laws apply to these drivers, you need a Colorado personal injury attorney to assess your case. Give me a call or text me any time for a free consultation: 303-388-5304.