After becoming the first state to decriminalize cannabis in 1973, Oregon has now legalized the therapeutic use of psilocybin products.
While cities like Denver have already decriminalized the substance, Oregon is the first state to legalize the “magic mushrooms” for supervised use.
Measure 109, which passed by 56.12% of the vote, will allow anyone age 21 or older who passes a screening to access the services for “personal development.”
Further, the substance will only be available for administration at licensed facilities and does not allow for people to take or grow mushrooms in their own home.
“We Need Options…”
“We need options. And this is a valid therapeutic option that could help thousands of people,” Eckert stated to The Oregonian.
While “magic mushrooms” remain federally illegal, research shows that psilocybin has the potential to treat a range of psychiatric and behavioral disorders.
In fact, in 2019, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated certain clinical trials involving psilocybin as breakthrough therapies for severe depression, reports Live Science.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that — in a controlled clinical environment — psilocybin was safely used in subjects with OCD and was associated with acute reductions in core OCD symptoms.
Another study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology demonstrated that a single dose of psilocybin can produce an antidepressant and anxiolytic response in cancer patients that lasts for five years.
Still, more research is needed.
A 2020 Bloomberg article noted that psychedelic substances seem to act as a hard-reboot to our brain settings. However, scientists still can’t explain exactly why it is an effective therapy for psychiatric patients.
Setting the Stage
There will be a two year regulatory period in which the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will work out details ranging from how the mushrooms will be grown, to how the state will license therapy centers.
Graham Boyd, the Political Director of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, which donated more than $1 million to the Measure 109 campaign, expressed his excitement to Forbes, noting that Oregon has now paved the path for other states to soon follow.
“I’m proud to have been part of the team that put it together, and proud of the way our campaign focused on educating voters about a plant medicine that is too often misunderstood,” said Boyd.
“When the rest of the country sees how this can be successfully implemented to the benefit of so many, I think it will open doors in many more places,” he continued.