Oregon made history on Election Day this week with two major drug policy reforms after voters approved Measure 109, which legalizes psilocybin therapy, and Measure 110, which decriminalizes drug possession and reallocates some cannabis funding to pay for addiction treatment services.
The success of Measure 110, which passed with nearly 60% of the vote, makes Oregon the first state to decriminalize the possession of most drugs, including heroin. The measure also reallocates some cannabis tax revenue to help fund new state-run addiction treatment services.
“Today is a huge day of celebration but the work is not over and we have a lot more work to do to win a better system for everybody,” Peter Zuckerman, campaign manager for Measure 110, told The Oregonian.
Oregon made history tonight by becoming the first state to decriminalize drug possession! Our c4 @DrugPolicyAct led this campaign with @voteYESon110 to make this visionary initiative a reality! This victory is truly transformative. #Election2020 🙂#OREGON pic.twitter.com/3TrrGguh3x
— Drug Policy Alliance (@DrugPolicyOrg) November 4, 2020
With the passage of Measure 109, meanwhile, Oregon is also the first state to legalize psilocybin — the substance that gives hallucinogenic mushrooms their intoxicating effects — for medicinal use. The measure passed with 56% support, The Oregonian reports. Under the initiative, the Oregon Health Authority is now tasked with creating a psilocybin-assisted therapy program where licensed facilities will administer the drug in a controlled, therapeutic setting.
Recent research shows that psilocybin has significant medical potential against severe depression, which has prompted the FDA to label the psychedelic a potential “breakthrough therapy.” This is likely a sign that the agency intends to accelerate the drug development and review process.