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Denver wants your residents’ help developing policy for magic mushrooms

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Denver wants your residents’ help developing policy for magic mushrooms


Colorado is in its psychedelic era.

In 2022, voters agreed to legalize psilocybin, known better to some as magic mushrooms. Since then, the state has been working on developing framework and regulations for using the psychedelic mushrooms under supervision. That work is still underway, even as the state is set to start accepting applications later this year for “natural healing centers,” which would be staffed by so-called “facilitators” who would supervise psilocybin use.

Harvested home-grows psilocybin mushrooms in Colorado

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Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images


It’s what Courtneyrose Chung, founder and clinical director of My Denver Therapy, is hoping to do. She currently runs mental health support practices in Denver, Greenwood Village and Lone Tree.

“I kind of started it under the umbrella of trauma,” said Chung. “We have licensed professional counselors, family therapists, social workers … and a nurse practitioner, specifically for this new space we’re entering into with the psychedelics.”

One day soon, Chung wants to provide assisted psychotherapy with psilocybin.

“This particular drug can have a profound impact on people’s brains in really as little as two sessions,” Chung said. “Some research has been done on OCD, on treatment-resistant depression…anxiety, PTSD.”

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Now that Colorado is in the process of medicalizing mushrooms, Chung is another step closer to helping numerous patients she believes would benefit from the drug.

“Since this law was passed, we have had thousands of people email trying to see if it’s available yet and if they can get in,” she said.

However, as the state is still working on regulations, there are a lot of questions up in the air.

“The potential benefits of psilocybin,” said Chung, “I don’t think the greater public understands or they think, ‘Oh, people are just tripping and then something happens.’”

To help answer questions and determine best next steps for licensure, the Denver Department of Excise and License is forming a work group. It will explore what policy and licensing laws should look like in the city, while the state-wide regulations are also being developed.

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“I think a lot of citizens have questions, we as the city and as regulators have a lot of questions,” Molly Duplechian, Executive Director of EXL, said. “This is brand new for Denver, and it’s something that Denver can lead the way on. We’re really only the second state in the nation that has done this, so we want to get it right, and make sure that we can set a good example just like we did for marijuana regulations.”

It’s called the Natural Medicine Work Group, and just about anybody is being asked to apply.

“We want to hear from people who’ve been in this pace for several years and have that experience,” explained Duplechian. “We want to hear from public health advocates, youth education advocates, youth protection advocates, and really just the community. If it’s going to feel like it’s going to impact them, we want to hear from them, what concerns they have and how we can mitigate those.”

Chung said she is pleased Denver is taking this step. She also hopes the NMWG will also discuss how to better inform the public about psilocybins and what clinical practices like hers would offer.

“We are not in the business of just having people come in and get high and see what it’s like. That’s not therapeutic,” Chung said. “To prioritize people who have truly tried everything and are just desperate for healing and for help because it could change their life, that is what we’re in the business of. We want to help people get better.”

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Applications to serve on the NMWG are due by 5pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024. To apply, complete this form. 



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Dems determined to coddle Colorado’s sex criminals | BRAUCHLER

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Dems determined to coddle Colorado’s sex criminals | BRAUCHLER







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George Brauchler



Colorado’s Democratic legislative delegation is quickly revealing itself to be the BFFs of pedophiles and sex offenders.

Far from political hyperbole, it is a label earned by their recent conduct in our General Assembly.

Last year, a no-brainer of a bill to elevate the crime of masturbating in front of a child from a misdemeanor to the lowest-class felony — a probation-eligible felony — sailed through the state Senate without opposition. Twenty-seven Democrats in the state House, including Denver-area Democratic Reps. Steven Woodrow and Elisabeth Epps, voted against HB 23-1135. Back when Epps showed up on the House floor, she single-handedly filibustered the bill for more than three hours, arguing the penalties for the lowest-level felony are too harsh for someone who pleasures themselves in front of innocent children.

This year, another no-brainer effort — a bipartisan bill — to prevent judges from giving probation to those who commit “soliciting for child prostitution…procurement of a child, keeping a place of child prostitution, pimping of a child, inducement of child prostitution, and patronizing a prostituted child” was introduced in the House. Its mandatory minimum sentence was four years, which amounts to fewer than two years in our broken sentencing system.  Democrats still thought that was too much.

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Dem Rep. Jenny Willford bemoaned, “it feels like this bill is very cut and dried…you did this, so now you go to jail… but, like, how are you accounting for the nuances?” Nuances? To prostituting a child? To vote against this bill would be to entertain the notion there is a situation in which someone could pimp or prostitute a child and then walk out of the courtroom back into our communities.

Predictably, Democratic leadership sent the bill, sponsored by Reps. Regina English (D), Brandi Bradley (R) and Sen. Kevin Van Winkle (R), to a “kill committee.” Only three witnesses testified against the bill. Two of them were members of the public defender’s office — who represent those pimping and prostituting children. Ignoring the voluminous testimony in support of the bill, every one of the eight Democratic members of the committee, including Reps. Epps, Woodrow and Nuance Willford, voted to kill HB 24-1092.

In the Senate, things are about to get worse. Few legislators have championed the cause of offenders more than Denver Democratic Sen. Julie Gonzales, the prime sponsor of SB 24-118, a bill to lessen the punishment and accountability of convicted child rapists.

Currently, Colorado recognizes those who sexually prey upon children are dangerous, many times untreatable, and should remain in prison for as long as it takes to get necessary treatment. That is called an indeterminate sentence because we do not know how long it will take for the risk of them re-offending to be minimized (if even possible) by specific, sex-offender treatment.

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Gonzales hates that. Gonzales wants to reduce the mandatory amount of time a child rapist will serve by eliminating the indeterminate part of their sentence — independent of whether they are successful in treatment or even engage in treatment. By removing the indeterminate sentence provision, Gonzales makes child sex assaulters eligible for “good time,” a 25% reduction in their prison sentences.

Additionally, Gonzales’s bill requires only the highest-risk sex offenders to begin sex-offender treatment while incarcerated. Every other sex offender with a prison sentence must begin treatment only after they have been put back into our communities — with our kids and grandkids. In fact, Gonzales forbids the Department of Corrections from even referring a sex offender for pre-release treatment, unless he is of the highest risk. This ensures child sex offenders and rapists who are classified as anything other than “high risk” will be put back in our communities before they undergo any sex-offender treatment. Sounds safe, doesn’t it?

Here’s the trick: every offender who mouths an admission (whether sincere or not) they are a child rapist and wants to change is deemed to be less than “high risk.”

Gonzales trusts the parole board to get this right. Coloradans cannot.

Case in point: Kenneth Dean Lee. In 2014, my district attorney’s office convicted the fake immigration doctor and sexual assaulter of numerous immigrant children, and had him sentenced to 23 years to life in prison. Fewer than six years later, having found sexually violent predator Lee not to be a high risk to reoffend, Gov. Jared Polis’s parole board put him back onto our streets. A year later, he was re-arrested for again pretending to be an immigration doctor and sexually assaulting immigrant children. Lee is not the only losing gamble the parole board has made at the expense of other victims.

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Gonzales’s bill is more insidious than that. Currently, Colorado law punishes more harshly a rapist (18-3-415.5) who knows they are HIV positive and who infects their child victim with HIV. Gonzales’s bill deletes that entire provision of the law and reduces the extra penalty to zero.

A bizarre, final insult for Coloradans: Gonzales declares her bill lowering the bar for punishment of rapists is for “the immediate preservation of the public peace,” ensuring it becomes immediately effective without objection by us through the normal petition process. The day Polis signs it is the day it becomes the law.

The party purportedly committed to protecting children has left the Capitol — and has been replaced by a party whose brand is protecting those who prey upon children. Elections have consequences.

George Brauchler is the former district attorney for the 18th Judicial District and is a candidate for district attorney in the newly created 23rd Judicial District. He has served as an Owens Early Criminal Justice Fellow at the Common Sense Institute. Follow him on Twitter(X): @GeorgeBrauchler.



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Colorado College Hockey Forward Zaccharya Wisdom is trying to honor his mother’s sacrifices

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Colorado College Hockey Forward Zaccharya Wisdom is trying to honor his mother’s sacrifices


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) –

Colorado College Freshman Zaccharya Wisdom plays to honor his moms sacrifices off the ice

Colorado College head coach Kris Mayotte has done a good job of changing the culture of CC Hockey. He has brought in a ton of difference makers, including Zaccharya Wisdom from Toronto. The freshman has scored ten goals this season, but for Zacch, it’s about honoring the sacrifices his mom has made off the ice.

“I was in shock of how far I’ve come, growing up in West End (of Toronto), with not much to the name,” said Wisdom.

Zaccharya Wisdom has come a long way. The Canadian doesn’t believe in excuses–he says he got that from his mom Mairri Wisdom, who had to work multiple jobs to keep his family afloat.

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“She had lots of sleepless nights. Lots of nights where, like, she wouldn’t eat because me and my brother had to eat,” Wisdom said. “It’s hard to put into words how much she means to me because there’s nothing in this world I can do to pay her back for what she did for me and my brother and that’s what helps me perform every night is that love for her, and that want to make her proud.”

He says her sacrifices are now his “why”: working as hard as he can to give his mom the life they never had.

“It’s kind of like a sub mentality. My mom, watching her go to four different jobs every night, every day and barely being able to see her, like, I knew what she was doing. And she was out there working her butt off and… and for me to come out here and do what I love to do, and not work my butt off… It’s just, it doesn’t make sense to me, and that’s why I do it,” Wisdom said.

That mentality and perspective has worked. Wisdom has been a big part of CC’s run back into national prominence. And the freshman has only gotten better, each and every game.

“I came in here with a lot of raw skill, and I think I’ve just been able to refine it and kind of mold it to like a college level, and be able to play with the best in the college hockey,” said Wisdom.

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So far this season, Mairri has been a good luck charm for CC Hockey. She was in attendance for her son’s four-goal game against no. 2 North Dakota.

“She being able to witness something like that. It’s… it’s hard to put into words, but I mean every time she’s here, something good happens. The first time she was here, I scored my first college goal, so she’s got to get down more often,” Wisdom said.



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