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Oregon is gonna legalize psychedelic mushrooms


By Lizzy Acker | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Oregon voters may get the chance to decide whether or not to become the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms next year.

The ballot title for the Psilocybin Service Initiative, or Initiative Petition #34, was certified Friday and now supporters of a measure to legalize psilocybin in controlled settings can gather signatures to get the issue on the ballot in 2020.

The initiative won’t mean that “magic” mushrooms are legal at all times and everywhere in the state. Instead, the measure would allow “manufacture, delivery, administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities.”

It would also impose a two-year development period.

Chief petitioners Sheri and Thomas Eckert have been working on the effort to make psilocybin legal and accessible for years. In 2017, the couple, who are both counselors who live in Beaverton, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that they think psilocybin could help people struggling with a variety of issues, from depression to anxiety to addiction.

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“As therapists, we know that personality doesn’t change easily,” Thomas Eckert said at the time. “Where typical pharma-type interventions fall short, psilocybin is really breaking through with pretty amazing frequency.”

They said their ideal scenario would involve multiple sessions, including an orientation, an experience with the psychedelic and then a further session that would help the user process and integrate the experience.

While cities like Oakland and Denver have decriminalized psilocybin, it remains an illegal Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, which means the U.S. government believes it has “a high potential for abuse and serves no legitimate medical purpose in the United States.”

Backers of the Psilocybin Service Initiative have until July 2, 2020, to get 112,020 signatures to get the measure on the November 2020 ballot.


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