C.R.S. Section 12-170-102
Legislative declaration


The voters of the state of Colorado find and declare that:


Colorado’s current approach to mental health has failed to fulfill its promise. Coloradans deserve more tools to address mental health issues, including approaches such as natural medicines that are grounded in treatment, recovery, health, and wellness rather than criminalization, stigma, suffering, and punishment.


Coloradans are experiencing problematic mental health issues, including but not limited to suicidality, addiction, end-of-life distress, depression, and anxiety;


An extensive and growing body of research is advancing to support the efficacy of natural medicines combined with psychotherapy as treatment for depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, end-of-life distress, and other conditions;


The federal government will take years to act and Coloradans deserve the right to access natural medicines now;


Natural medicines have been used safely for millennia by cultures for healing;


Colorado can better promote health and healing by reducing its focus on criminal punishments for persons who suffer mental health issues and by establishing regulated access to natural medicines through a humane, cost-effective, and responsible approach;


The city and county of Denver voters enacted Ordinance 301 in May 2019 to make the adult personal possession and use of the natural medicine psilocybin the lowest law enforcement priority in the city and county of Denver and to prohibit the city and county from spending resources on enforcing related penalties;


Oregon voters enacted Measure 109 in Oregon in November 2020 to establish a regulated system of delivering a natural medicine, in part to provide people access to psilocybin for therapeutic purposes;


Criminalizing natural medicines has denied people from accessing accurate education and harm reduction information related to the use of natural medicines, and limited the development of appropriate training for first- and multi-responders including law enforcement, emergency medical services, social services, and fire services;


The purpose of this “Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022” is to establish a new, compassionate, and effective approach to natural medicines by:


Adopting a public health and harm reduction approach to natural medicines by removing criminal penalties for personal use for adults twenty-one years of age and older;


Developing and promoting public education related to the use of natural medicines and appropriate training for first responders; and


Establishing regulated access by adults twenty-one years of age and older to natural medicines that show promise in improving well-being, life satisfaction, and overall health;


The provisions of this article 170 shall be interpreted consistently with the findings and purposes stated in this section and shall not be limited by any Colorado law that could conflict with or be interpreted to conflict with the purposes and policy objectives stated in this section;


The people of the state of Colorado further find and declare that it is necessary to ensure consistency and fairness in the application of this article 170 throughout the state and that, therefore, the matters addressed by this article 170 are, except as specified herein, matters of statewide concern;


The general assembly finds and declares that:


Considerable harm may occur to the federally recognized American tribes and Indigenous people, communities, cultures, and religions if natural medicine is overly commodified, commercialized, and exploited in a manner that results in the erasure of important cultural and religious context;


Considerable harm may occur to the federally recognized American tribes and Indigenous people, communities, cultures, and religions if facilitators, healing centers, and other natural medicine licensees with minimal or no connection to traditional use of natural medicine misappropriate or exploit tribal and Indigenous cultures and religions;


It is the general assembly’s intent to ensure that the federally recognized American tribes and Indigenous people, communities, cultures, and religions are honored and respected as the state legalizes and regulates natural medicine. By enacting laws, rules, and orders to implement this article 170 and article 50 of title 44, the general assembly, division, and state licensing authority shall consider the potential for direct and indirect harm that may occur to the federally recognized American tribes and Indigenous people, communities, cultures, and religions that have a connection to natural medicine; and


Although there may be tremendous potential in utilizing natural medicine for managing various mental health conditions, healing, and spiritual growth, this potential must be appropriately balanced with the health and safety risks that it could pose to consumers as well as the cultural harms it could pose to the federally recognized American tribes and Indigenous and traditional communities that have connections to natural medicine.

Source: Section 12-170-102 — Legislative declaration, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-12.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 12-170-102’s source at colorado​.gov