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Psilocybin mushrooms after being harvested in Denver. Photo: Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver continues leading the way when it comes to magic mushroom exploration.

What’s happening: A panel established after voters narrowly decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms in 2019 is delivering a draft of progressive policy recommendations to the Denver City Council next month, Kevin Matthews, who co-led Denver’s decriminalization campaign, tells Axios.

  • The Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel is made up of advocates, city officials and members of law enforcement.

Why it matters: Ongoing research shows that psilocybin could help treat certain medical conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and addiction.

  • But dabbling in the science remains limited due to the federal government’s classification of psilocybin as a Schedule I drug "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

There are two main elements to the panel’s preliminary recommendations:

  • Decriminalizing the sharing and gifting of magic mushrooms.
  • Decriminalizing the use of ‘shrooms in group, medicinal and therapeutic settings.

Of note: The panel also will recommend that the council sign off on a co-branded public-awareness campaign encouraging responsible mushroom use, as well as green light a training program for first responders on psilocybin harm-reduction techniques.

  • "Denver is going to be the first city in the country to have first responders fully trained on psychedelic harm reduction, which reduces risk both for officers ... and folks that officers contact," Matthews said.

The big picture: Since the city made history as the first in the country to decriminalize magic mushrooms, fears about widespread abuse of the psychedelic drug have yet to materialize, propelling proponents to push the psilocybin agenda even further.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

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