On May 7, Denver voters will decide on whether to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. What is this mysterious fungus, and how can you get your hands on it? Allow us to take you on a trip through mushroom legend and lore...
What are psychedelic mushrooms?
A fungus that produces a compound called psilocybin. When ingested, psilocybin mainly interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, creating mind-altering effects. Magic mushrooms might give consumers a sense of openness or, as some describe it, a childlike curiosity. They’ve also been known to facilitate deeper connections to both nature and other people.
They can also cause negative emotions, like paranoia or anxiety. But proponents say that these symptoms could offer insight into one’s emotions and can even be cathartic.
How do people grow them?
Experienced users say magic mushrooms are simple to grow, and the spores are actually legal in all states but Georgia, California and Idaho. Coloradans can purchase spores online and start growing mushrooms themselves — illegally.
There are a variety of ways to grow mushrooms at home. Here’s one: Combine vermiculite with rice flour and a bit of water in a glass jar. Poke small holes in the lid of the jar and cover with foil. Sterilize the jar in a pressure cooker, then inject the psilocybin spores through the holes in the lid. Put the jar in a dark space and wait until the spores have fully colonized, which takes a few weeks. You’ll know it’s done when a white fluffy mass overtakes the inside of the jar.
Put the contents of the jar into a small glass aquarium. Keep humidity in the aquarium above 85 percent, make sure fresh air is flowing and expose the mound to some light. Sit back and let them grow.
How do you eat them?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Fresh or dry. When the time feels right to expand your mind, you can break the mushrooms into pieces and eat them or just eat them whole. You can also eat them with food, like in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a smoothie, or brew them in a tea.
Newbies to mushrooms often complain of stomach issues. To avoid an upset stomach, run the mushrooms through a coffee grinder so that the fungus is broken down as much as possible before consumption. For those with particularly sensitive stomachs, drinking orange juice could help with digestion.
Micro or macro?
Some people like to macrodose mushrooms, meaning they consume larger quantities at once and trip.
Others prefer microdosing, ingesting smaller amounts more frequently so the experience is less intense. Users say that microdosing can combat depression, anxiety and ADD, stimulate creativity and increase productivity.