Prop 122 example of clashing local vs. state legislation
By Kendra Walker
During their April 4 meeting, the Mt. Crested Butte town council agreed to support Colorado Municipal League’s (CML) stance to seek responsive legislation to allow for local decision-making over Proposition 122, which decriminalizes the use and possession of psychedelic mushrooms. The goal is to allow for Mt. Crested Butte and other home-rule municipalities to have local decision-making authority on the issue regardless of their stance.
Last November, Colorado voters approved Proposition 122, which decriminalizes the personal possession, growing, sharing and use, but not sale, of five natural psychedelic substances by individuals aged 21 and over. This includes two substances found in psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin and psilocin, and three plant-based psychedelic substances, dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine and mescaline. Proposition 122 also allows the supervised use of psychedelic mushrooms by individuals aged 21 and over at licensed facilities and requires the state to create a regulatory structure for the operation of these licensed facilities by 2024. It also specifically prohibits local governments from banning licensed facilities, services and use of natural psychedelic substances as permitted by the measure, and CML is seeking responsive legislation this year to allow for local decision-making over these five substances.
“This is not to determine how the town would wish to regulate, but to support legislation that would maintain local control,” explained town manager Carlos Velado, noting that the language eliminating local control in Proposition 122 is very similar to the language of Senate Bill 23-213, the proposed land use bill that would result in loss of local zoning control, as reported last week by the Crested Butte News.
“This seems like a theme with current state legislation and the governor over smaller municipalities,” said councilmember Steve Morris. “Regardless of what we’re even talking about, even if we’re throwing motor oil in the East River, I would still support our ability to regulate that.”
“Where would it stop?” agreed councilmember Roman Kolodziej.
Velado explained that not all municipalities in Colorado are home-rule/self-governing. “Home rule is somewhat special, not all states are home rule and there are some statutory cities and towns in Colorado. Having the ability to be home rule is semi-unique.”
The council agreed to support CML’s stance to seek legislation to allow for local decision-making over Proposition 122.