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Petition to regulate psilocybin mushrooms in Oregon gathers steam

The 'Oregon Psilocybin Services Act' gained a ballot title this week. The petitioners will still need to get 112,020 signatures to make it on ballots.

Posted: Aug 7, 2019 11:46 AM
Updated: Aug 7, 2019 11:51 AM

BEAVERTON, Ore. — A group pushing for the decriminalization and regulation of psychedelic mushrooms continues to plug away for a shot at Oregon's 2020 ballot. The Secretary of State's office granted a draft ballot title on Wednesday for Initiative Petition 2020-034, "The Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon."

If approved by voters, the initiative would establish a legal process for licensed groups to manufacture, deliver, and administer psilocybin — the active compound found in psychedelic mushrooms.

While similar in some ways to the system by which cannabis is now legalized and regulated in Oregon, there are some major differences in the psilocybin initiative. Instead of being administered by the OLCC, mushroom products would fall under the purview of the Oregon Health Authority. Individuals interested in taking psilocybin would do so only under supervision at a "psilocybin service center" — ostensibly for the purposes of mental health treatment.

"Studies conducted by nationally and internationally recognized medical institutions indicate that psilocybin has shown efficacy, tolerability, and safety in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions, including but not limited to addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, and end-of-life psychological distress," the initiative reads.

The initiative's chief Petitioners, Thomas and Sheri Eckert of Beaverton, gathered over 1,000 valid signatures in order to receive a draft ballot title. The current initiative represents a second attempt for the couple in the run-up to 2020, following a similar ballot measure approved in December of 2018.

As is typical for initiative petitions, the Secretary of State's office has asked for input from the public "on whether the petition complies with the procedural constitutional requirements established in the Oregon Constitution for initiative petitions." Comments are due by August 21, after which the Secretary of State will make a decision.

Assuming the Secretary of State approves, the Eckerts will need to gather a total of 112,020 signatures to get their measure on the 2020 ballot.

Click here for more on the petition, including the full text.

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