Oregon legalizes psilocybin therapy by passing Measure 109 with a 56% majority of the vote on November 3, 2020. The passing of Measure 109 makes Oregon the first state to legalize psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical found in certain types of fresh and dried mushrooms, in a therapeutic setting. Previous to the ballot measure passing, psilocybin was classified as a Schedule I drug by the D.E.A. In 2019, the FDA designated psilocybin therapy as a breakthrough therapy for two clinical trials studying the effects of depression and major depressive disorder.
How Does Measure 109 Change the Psilocybin Laws in Oregon?
As of 2020, consumption and manufacturing of psilocybin remain illegal under federal and state law. Measure 109 creates a program for administering psilocybin products, including “Magic mushrooms” to individuals 21 or older. The program, which will be developed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), has a two-year development period. The program will allow clients to purchase, possess and consume psilocybin at a service center and under the supervision of a facilitator after undergoing a preparation session.
OHA will determine who is eligible to be licensed as a facilitator, what the qualifications will be, what education, training and exams are required. The organization will also create a code of professional conduct for facilitators. OHA will determine psilocybin dosage standards as well as labeling and packaging rules.
In my last blog, I wrote about Oregon voters also passing Measure 110, which decriminalized the personal possession of controlled substances including psilocybin. Possession of psilocybin in Oregon now results in a Class E violation with a maximum penalty of $100 or a completed health assessment.
Don’t Expect to Purchase Psychedelic Mushrooms at the Dispensary
The passing of Measure 109 won’t allow psychedelic mushrooms to be available for purchase similar to alcohol or cannabis. Only license holders will be able to provide the therapy, own a psilocybin service center or cultivate psilocybin under the new law. This also doesn’t allow people to cultivate or consume mushrooms in their homes or to leave service centers while still under the influence of psilocybin. Cannabis regulation in Oregon is managed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), whereas psilocybin will fall under the responsibility of OHA.
If you are interested in accessing psilocybin services for “personal development,” anyone age 21 or older who passes a screening will be able to receive treatment. The law allows access to anyone who passes the screening, not just Oregonians struggling with mental health issues.
Oregon Legalizes Psilocybin, Opens Door for New Research in Oregon
With the passing of Measures 109 and 110, Oregon legalizes psilocybin therapy and decriminalizes possession, which takes a progressive step forward in the treatment of costly epidemics affecting residents. This quote from the Oregon Psilocybin Society eloquently addresses the potential of these measures for Oregonians:
“A growing body of evidence demonstrates that psilocybin-assisted therapy is safe and uniquely effective. We think that this novel approach could help alleviate the mental health crisis here in Oregon by addressing costly epidemics like suicide, treatment-resistant depression and anxiety, PTSD, and addiction to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. Additionally, the measure would open doors for new research, create access to services for those interested in personal development, and reduce penalties for common possession of psilocybin.”
If you have questions about how these new changes in Oregon law may affect criminal drug charges you may be facing, reach out to Nelson Law for a free consultation. The passing of Measure 109 and 110 certainly put Oregon at the forefront of change in the treatment of addiction and mental health struggles.