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Photo: Photofusion/Janine Wiedel/UIG/Getty Images

Denver, Colo. has become the first city in the United States to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms after residents voted in favor of the referendum in a local election on Tuesday.

Details: The passage of Initiative 301 makes hallucinogenic mushrooms the cities lowest law-enforcement priority and prohibits Denver from spending money to impose criminal penalties for personal use or possession for anybody who is 21 or older.

This only affects Denver, and mushrooms remain illegal in the rest of Colorado. Under federal law, mushrooms will continue to be a Schedule I controlled substance. It took city officials until Wednesday afternoon to determine the "yea" vote, with 50.6% of the 176,000 voters voting for the referendum. The final vote total still must still be certified by Denver election officials.

The big picture: A variety of studies have shown psilocybin to have beneficial health impacts including for chronic pain, PTSD, and anxiety.

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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