As citizens of Colorado prepare to vote on Proposition 122, which would redefine mushrooms and several other naturally-occurring fungi and plants as decriminalized natural medicines, one may find themselves wondering about the safety profile of the special compound.

(Tip: check back next week for our coverage of the results of The Decriminalization and Regulated Access Program for Certain Psychedelic Plants and Fungi Initiative—A.K.A. Colorado Prop 122.)

Let’s take a look:

According to the Founder of the Global Drug Survey, Mushrooms Are Among the Safest Substances in the World

A large grouping of mushrooms with concave caps and exposed gills

Adam Winstock, who works in addiction psychiatry and founded the Global Drug Survey, was quoted in 2017 by The Guardian as having said, “Mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world. Death from toxicity is almost unheard of with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms.”

This statement came after the results of that year’s survey—which involves over 100,000 participants from all over the world—showing that of the number people who had self-reported as having taken mushrooms, just 0.2% claimed to have needed emergency medical treatment as a result.

Myriad other studies, including those conducted under more controlled environments, have resulted in data which seems to accurately mirror the assessment made by researchers at the Global Drug Survey. One example among many is the study Human Hallucinogen Research: Guidelines for Safety (NCBI), in which authors stated, “Hallucinogens generally possess relatively low physiological toxicity, and have not been shown to result in organ damage or neuropsychological deficits.”

If Mushrooms Are So Safe, Why Aren’t They Legal Yet?

Mushrooms have been outlawed in over 180 United Nations affiliated countries around the world after the organization penned the Conventionon Psychotropic Substances treaty in the early 1970s; the United States had lead the charge several years earlier in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill.

For a full breakdown of the historical events which lead to these legislative changes and why the United States and the world began banned special substances en masse, get a copy of our free eBook:

Slowly but surely, this deep-seated legislative framework is beginning to change. Denver, Colorado was the first municipality in the United States to decriminalize mushrooms; other cities followed such as Oakland, California. The state of Oregon just recently approved mushroom cultivation by certain manufacturers for approved medical purposes.

And now, at the time of this writing, Colorado voters are on the verge of deciding the fate of Proposition 122 as mentioned earlier. Things are changing, and the future looks bright for mushroom advocates in the United States and others among those 180 countries which originally outlawed mushrooms. What will happen? Only time will tell, but imagining a world where naturally occurring mushrooms are legal isn’t nearly as impossible as it once was.