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Oregon psilocybin therapy measure officially qualifies for November ballot

A petition to legalize and regulate the therapeutic use of hallucinogenic mushrooms has officially made the ballot, according to the measure sponsors.

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 11:22 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — A ballot measure that proposes legalizing the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the active chemical in hallucinogenic mushrooms, has officially made the statewide ballot for Oregon's election in November.

Sponsors of the petition said in June that they anticipated making the ballot after turning in 164,782 signatures. Just over 112,000 verified signatures are required to make the ballot. The sponsors said that they received official confirmation from the Secretary of State's office on Wednesday.

Supporters have cited studies that suggest psilocybin can help in treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

“We are thrilled that Oregon voters have come together to tackle mental health and depression by qualifying this ballot measure for the November election,” said Tom Eckert, a licensed psychotherapist and co-chief petitioner for the initiative. “Oregonians deserve access to psilocybin therapy as a treatment option — and now we officially have a chance to win it.”

If approved by voters, the measure would begin a program to allow the licensed cultivation of psilocybin, and regulate the use of psilocybin therapy. Therapy recipients would have to go three a three-step process — a screening for risk factors, a supervised therapy administration session, and an evaluation following the session.

The measure would not legalize use or cultivation of psilocybin in homes, whether for medical or recreational purposes. Psilocybin could only be taken at a licensed clinic, and patients cannot leave while under the influence of psilocybin.

“We want to thank the thousands of volunteers and the over 160,000 Oregonians that made this ballot measure possible, and we look forward to talking with voters over the next four months to share the research and show why psilocybin therapy is a part of our collective answer to the mental health crisis our state faces,” said Sheri Eckert, Tom’s wife and co-chief petitioner. “This careful, regulated approach can make a real difference in people’s lives and we’re looking forward to bringing this program to the state.”

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