Oregon Municipalities Seeking to Ban Psilocybin Therapy

Multiple Oregon municipalities are planning to put psilocybin therapy bans on November election ballots after state voters opted to legalize the treatment in 2020.

Full story after the jump.

More than 40 Oregon cities and towns are putting questions on November ballots seeking to ban psilocybin treatment centers before Measure 109, which was approved by voters across the state in 2020, takes effect January 1, Boise State Public Radio reports. Most of the proposals are in the rural eastern, central, and southern parts of the state. 

Sam Chapman, executive director of the Healing Advocacy Fund and the campaign manager for Measure 109, said the bans would make the treatment inaccessible to rural Oregonians. 

“These are people who, often in rural communities, already have a hard time accessing mental health care if at all. To take one additional option away from them, I do feel is unfortunate.” — Chapman to Boise State Public Radio 

The voter-approved law allows for local governments to enact bans or put the issue to voters. in Deschutes County 52% of voters approved Measure 109 but county commissioners voted 2-1 to ask voters whether or not to enact a ban.   

Measure 109 was approved by 56% of Oregon voters in 2020, becoming the first state to approve psilocybin therapy. Under the initiative, the Oregon Health Authority was tasked with creating a psilocybin-assisted therapy program where licensed facilities will administer the drug in a controlled, therapeutic setting. 

A recent study conducted by the New York University Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine found psilocybin therapy may help people who struggle with alcohol dependence better manage their drinking, according to a CNN report. The study, which is considered the first published randomized trial to examine the effects of psilocybin on any type of addiction, found people who underwent two psychedelic mushroom “trips” with the help of a psychotherapist reduced “their days of heavy drinking by 83% over eight months,” Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, director of the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine, said. 

At the end of the eight-month study, nearly half (48%) of the patients who used psilocybin reported quitting alcohol use entirely.  

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