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Aspen community wants more education on safe psilocybin-usage

Community members gathered at Here House on Thursday to learn more about Proposition 122, or Access to Natural Medicine.
Kristen Mohammadi/The Aspen Times

Aspen community members gathered on Thursday at Here House to ask questions and voice concerns regarding the recent passing of Proposition 122, or Access to Natural Medicines.

Martha Hammel, Aspen-based nutritionist and founder of Right to Heal Aspen — an organization dedicated to making psychedelics safely available to those who wish to take them — led the conversation while also seeking opinions on how community members want psilocybin usage to look in Pitkin County.

Before the proposition passed, she was knocking on doors to get enough signatures to present to the Aspen City Council with the hopes of getting plant medicines decriminalized in Aspen. While she and others came close to getting enough signatures, Proposition 122 passed beforehand.



Pitkin County showed overwhelming support of Proposition 122 on Nov. 8, with nearly 7,000 residents, or 76% of voters, casting their ballots in favor of decriminalizing plant medicines. At the state level, this initiative passed by only 54%, according to The Colorado Sun.

Here were some of the top questions from the community:

1.) What does the passing of Proposition 122 entail?




The passing of Proposition 122 is two-fold, according to Hammel.

First, the proposition effectively decriminalizes plant medicines, with the exception of peyote. This means Colorado residents can grow, share, and consume some forms of hallucinogenic/entheogenic plants and fungi — as long as they’re doing so in accordance with local zoning laws and are above the age of 21 years old.

No, you cannot, and should never, take psychedelics before hitting the slopes or operating a vehicle, she noted.

In addition, the use of plant medicines cannot be used against you in a custody case, nor can it be considered a parole violation, according to Hammel.

However, use of pscilocbin is not a protected class, so you can still get fired if your workplace is intolerant of drug use, she advised. According to Wired, “clients could lose their jobs if employers learn of their participation. Client information could be hacked or sold and exploited for commercial purposes.”

Secondly, this measure will allow state-mandated “healing centers” to administer psychedelics to patients in supervised settings. Coloradans likely won’t see healing centers until 2024.

2.) What is the timeline looking like for licensed professionals to administer natural medicines to patients?

  • By Jan. 31, 2023: Gov. Jared Polis will need to establish a 15-person Natural Medicine Advisory Board. The board will create training programs and establish rules and regulations for providers. By February, Coloradans will likely be able to see who made it to the advisory boards, according to Hammel.
  • By September, 2023: The Natural Medicine Advisory Board will roll out training programs, with established regulatory rules for providers.
  • By late 2024: Healing centers will pop up in Colorado.
  • By 2026: Officials may consider similar programs for other psychedelic substances like “DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline,” according to KUNC.

3.) Can I advertise an event with psychedelics?

No. If you want to host events where you are sober and guiding others who have taken plant-based psychedelics, you cannot publicly advertise your service. However, Hammel states individuals can use word-of-mouth marketing without facing legal trouble.

“You couldn’t publish ‘We’re going to give you mushrooms in the space,'” she said. “There is always the issue of civil liability for these things.”

Educating locals on safe practices

Community members want more education on safe psilocybin usage, which is why Hammel hopes to host informative workshops in the coming months, including a workshop on how to grow your own mushrooms.

You can access information about upcoming workshops at RightoHealAspen.com.

For more information, read our previous coverage:

Access to psychedelics passed in Colorado. Now what?