By Jack Rubinger

Oregonians will vote on whether to legalize psilocybin in November. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms.

Oregon Measure 109, the Psilocybin Program Initiative, is on the ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute in this November’s election. Proponents refer to the measure as the Psilocybin Services Act.

Measure 109 would create a program for administering psilocybin-producing mushrooms and fungi, to individuals aged 21 years or older.

People would be allowed to purchase, possess and consume them at a service center and under the supervision of a service facilitator after undergoing a preparation session.

Under Measure 109, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) would determine who is eligible to be licensed as a facilitator, determine what qualifications, education, training, and exams are needed, and create a code of professional conduct for facilitators.

OHA would set psilocybin dosage standards and labeling and packaging rules.

The Southeast Examiner spoke to two SE residents who expressed opinions on the potential use of psilocybin.

“In 30+ years of working in and around public psychiatric and addiction treatment, I’ve never heard a licensed clinician – or anyone – say their client needed psilocybin,” said Portland therapist Jason Renaud.

“I’ve never experimented with ‘shrooms personally,” said Chris Mosteller, Student Transpacific Education Program, “but if they’re hallucinogenic, I would think it would be good to keep those illegal, but marijuana was demonized unfairly so maybe ‘shrooms are getting the same unfair treatment.

“The only thing I wouldn’t like is the effect legalizing it would have on the community and the Portland image.”

“Two-thirds of Americans now report psychological distress. Many people cannot tolerate traditional psycho pharmaceutical interventions.

“Psilocybin, if used under medical supervision, is a promising alternative to ease treatment resistant depression and severe cases of PTSD,” said Sheila Hamilton, CEO, Beyond Well Solutions.

Oregon Measure 109 has been endorsed by organizations such as Oregon ACLU, The Democratic Party of Oregon, the Black Resilience Fund and Cascade AIDS Projects and many political leaders and citizens.

Measure 109 would allow cities and counties to place referendums on local ballots to prohibit or allow psilocybin-product manufacturers or psilocybin service centers within their jurisdictions.

“If this proposed measure ultimately is approved, the Oregon Health Authority would need to create a new program to implement the work required of the agency,” said Jonathan Modie, Oregon Health Authority. “OHA does not have a particular position on this proposed measure.”