Increase in magic mushroom seizures reported in Colorado by federal study

A federally funded study released on Tuesday reveals a significant increase in the number of magic mushroom seizures in Colorado and throughout the nation from 2017 to 2022.

The surge in police enforcement against psychedelic fungi highlights the ongoing significance of their illegal status under federal law, despite growing efforts to decriminalize them.

Colorado came in fifth place among states in terms of confiscations during that period, with a total of 221 seizures. However, this number is significantly lower than Ohio, which topped the list with 395 confiscations.

The study’s time frame includes periods before Denver became the first city to decriminalize mushrooms in 2019, and right as Colorado voters decided in 2022 to legalize them.

Magic mushrooms are gaining a growing positive mainstream appeal in Colorado.


Nationally, law enforcement documented a significant increase in psilocybin mushroom seizures from 402 in 2017 to 1,396 in 2022, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The total weight of magic mushrooms seized by law enforcement rose from 498 pounds in 2017 to 1,861 in 2022. By volume, Colorado ranked seventh

States in the Midwest and West accounted for the most confiscations in the country, 36% and 34% respectively.

It is important to note that the states and regions where seizures are reported may not necessarily reflect the intended destinations of the fungi, as emphasized by the study’s authors.

The discovery suggests a growing trend of individuals utilizing psilocybin for non-medical or recreational purposes, according to Axios’ Adriel Bettelheim.

“Use your intelligence: According to Joseph J. Palamar, the lead author of the study and an associate professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, it is crucial for individuals who consume magic mushrooms without medical supervision to educate themselves about the possible risks involved.”

That can include so-called “bad trips,” which can include distorted thinking, perceptual changes, and intense fear, anxiety and confusion.

What’s next: In the near future, healing centers in Colorado are anticipated to receive the first licenses for clinics offering supervised psilocybin use. These licenses are expected to be issued later this year.

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