Colorado Springs Gazette: Vote 'no' on legalizing more dangerous drugs –

Psilocybin mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, Netherlands, in a 2007 file photo. (Peter Dejong, Associated Press)

Psilocybin mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, Netherlands, in a 2007 file photo. (Peter Dejong, Associated Press)
We know what happens when voters or legislators legalize or “decriminalize” drugs. The proof, in Colorado and from regions around the globe, is always the same. Deregulation of illicit drugs leads to more substance abuse. More abuse leads to more broken families, unemployment, crime, mental health problems and death.
Every voter in Colorado who does not want more problems to solve has an easy decision to make. Vote “no” on ballot measure 122, which would legalize mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin and a host of other hallucinogenic drugs used primarily for recreation. Advocates of the measure deceptively market it as the Natural Medicine Health Act.
In addition to legalizing hallucinogenic drugs, the act would legalize state-licensed “healing centers.” The “healing centers” would administer psychedelic drugs in return for cash, making all sorts of nonsense claims about the drugs healing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and an assortment of other conditions that require legitimate treatments by licensed practitioners.
If these substances genuinely heal, advocates should encourage the Food and Drug Administration to approve them as treatments administered just like any other pharmaceuticals. The fact they want this end-run of “healing centers” calls into question whether they have any medical benefits at all.
“We’ve seen this playbook before with big tobacco, big pharma, big marijuana, they all come in and make unsubstantiated medical claims,” said Dawn Reinfeld, executive director of Blue Rising Together, in an interview with Colorado Public Radio. “Colorado is in the midst of an addiction and mental health crisis, and the last thing we need is to introduce psilocybin into the mix.”
She is right. Few alive today remember it, but profiteers used to advertise cigarettes as healing products. They would relieve stress and anxiety, the shills told us, which are legitimate mental health conditions.
Philip Morris claimed in a 1937 ad campaign their cigarettes improved nose and throat health. Big Tobacco hired physicians who attested to the “health benefits” of nicotine. Ultimately the truth did what it does best. It surfaced and revealed that “healthful” cigarettes addicted the masses and caused cancer among millions of nicotine addicts.
Anyone paying the least attention should safely assume more drug legalization will lead to children ingesting hallucinogenic drugs. Before the legislature decriminalized fentanyl and other Schedule 1 and 2 drugs in 2019, no child had died from fentanyl throughout Colorado’s history. Three years later, we are jaded to stories of toddlers confusing their parents’ drug supply with candy and dying almost instantly after taking a single pill. Childhood drug deaths have become so common we can barely detect public outrage when a toddler, pre-teen or teenager dies of an overdose.
If the public is jaded to Colorado’s childhood overdose phenomenon, imagine how little concern the greater community has for children who suffer in silence from the statewide drug orgy. For every child taken to the morgue or rushed to the hospital, thousands suffer the neglect that results when adults spend their days and nights getting high. This type of sad parenting has always been with us, but not long ago we had serious laws that effectively discouraged drug use among responsible adults.
Parents who get high tend to lose their jobs and incomes. Anyone who knows drug-abusing parents knows the children often get to school late — if at all. Their children don’t get home-cooked dinners. They don’t get much help with their homework as their parents unwind with drugs considered harmless or healthful.
Colorado leads the world in tolerating dangerous drugs used primarily for recreation. This sad policy trend correlates with Colorado’s soaring crime rate, a dramatic rise in drug-related traffic fatalities, declining K-12 proficiency scores, a booming rehabilitation industry, a growing mental health crisis, a disproportionately high suicide rate, the highest rate of car thefts in the country, a record-setting increase in rapes, and children dying of accidental overdoses. Yes, we know… Correlation is not always cause. Yet, it seems unwise to dismiss as mere coincidence this mounting array of social dilemmas and the acceptance of drugs long forbidden by law.
This is not a partisan issue. It is one of common sense. Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters should trounce more legalization of drugs. Enough, already. Vote “no” on 122.
Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial Board
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