science environment

Signatures Submitted For Oregon Measure To Decriminalize Psilocybin

By Kristian Foden-Vencil (OPB)
Portland, Ore. May 22, 2020 8:20 p.m.
Beaverton therapist Tom Eckert prepares to collect signatures to legalize psilocybin

Beaverton therapist Tom Eckert prepares to collect signatures to legalize psilocybin

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

People hoping to decriminalize the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin, for therapeutic uses in Oregon submitted their petitions for the November ballot Friday.

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Initiative petition 34 would create a new program within the Oregon Health Authority, allowing the licensed manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin.

Supporters believe the ingredient can help treat depression and anxiety, among other conditions.

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Organizers of the Psilocybin Service Initiative turned in more than 133,000 signatures, 18% more than required, to account for any duplicates or errors.

Chief petitioner Sheri Eckert said the submission represents five years of planning and coalition building.

"In times like these, we need accessible therapeutic options that can really impact people’s lives. That is what this initiative is all about," Eckert said.

"We’re honored by the support and faith that so many Oregonians have put into this effort and we’re excited to have made this leap towards qualification."

Psilocybin has been a Schedule I drug since the 1970s, meaning federal officials don’t think it has any medicinal value.

Kevin Sabet, a former drug policy advisor for President Obama, said psilocybin should be subject to the rigors of science, not a popular vote.

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