Last night (Nov. 3), voters overwhelmingly called for Oregon to become the first state in the nation to allow the use of psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, in therapy.
The vote mandates that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will establish a psilocybin-assisted therapy program for adults 21 and older over the next two years. This will coincide with the establishment of the Oregon Psilocybin Services Program.
It should be noted that the measure did NOT decriminalize psilocybin, as you may see reported. Psilocybin is still a Schedule I drug on the Federal and state level, similar to cannabis. However, Measure 110, which was also passed, which will decriminalize the possession of psilocybin and other substances.
The state of Oregon, though, has a history of making groundbreaking decisions. It was the first state in the US to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, and by 2014 it was the fourth state to legalize it recreationally.
Who Supported Measure 109?
The Oregon Psilocybin Society, led the way for Measure 109 to be passed. Supporters included:
Who Opposed Measure 109?
There are currently no major committees in direct opposition of the measure, but some prominent individuals and groups have come out in opposition:
It should be noted that some of the opposition is not necessarily against psilocybin, but rather they feel that the measure does not go far enough. As Decriminalize Nature Portland stated:
“This initiative would create one more medical model which serves the privileged members in society and makes it harder for the most vulnerable people to heal. The cost and hard-to-access system being created by Measure 109 would make it very difficult for lower income people, indigenous communities, immigrants, undocumented people, people who cannot afford an ID, and non- English speaking populations to gain entry into the closed and privileged system being created by this measure. We are concerned about the implications of an elite group of beneficiaries putting a free medicine that grows naturally out of the ground behind a paywall.”
What Were the Arguments For Measure 109?
- If psilocybin substances are readily available for therapy, people with mental health issues, including opioid addictions, may find relief
- The program will provide psilocybin substances under tightly controlled conditions and therefore result in beneficial outcomes
- The consumption of psilocybin will take place under the supervision of licensed and trained personnel
What Were the Arguments Against Measure 109?
- Oregon would be in direct conflict with Federal drug policy. This would put the state of Oregon in legal risk
- Cities and states are still learning about the effects of legalizing marijuana and it may be premature to move onto another substance so early
- The proposal does not go far enough as the use of a natural medicine should be
Will Psilocybin be Taxed in Oregon?
Yes. According to Measure 109, a 15% point of sales tax based on the retail sales of psilocybin will be used as a source of funding for administering the Oregon Psilocybin Services Program established by the OHA.
What Does Measure 109 Mean for Psychedelic Investors
Psychedelic Investors are paying close attention to Measure 109 as a proxy for how cities around the country may vote in similar ballots in 2022.
Although there is a lot of ground to cover before psilocybin (and psychedelics in general) are decriminalized or legalized in the US, investors are excited and compare the progress to the early days of cannabis.