Six Oregon communities are voting during the midterm elections to ban the sale and production of psychedelic mushrooms, the Mail Tribune reports. City and county councils in unincorporated Jackson County, Central Point, Phoenix, Eagle Point, Shady Cove, Jacksonville, and Rogue River all referred the question to voters.
The ballot questions come two years after Oregon passed Measure 109, which legalized the use of psilocybin mushroom therapy for mental health treatment in “service centers.”
Other communities like Medford, Ashland, and Talent refrained from putting the ban to voters, which will allow Measure 109 to move forward in 2023 in those localities, the report says.
The Oregon Health Authority is currently developing regulations to license the production and use of psychedelic mushrooms in municipalities that allow the practice and will have the option to add more rules to the system.
Will Lucas, who is opposing the bans and is the venue supervisor for Buckhorn Springs Retreat Center, which was bought by the international Synthesis Institute to be used as a treatment center, said, “Psilocybin therapy is a really promising therapy for veterans with PTSD and people with end-of-life anxiety. Studies show reductions in anxiety, depression, and end-of-life distress.”
Medical experts say psilocybin mushrooms can induce hallucinations, sensory distortions, euphoria, spiritual feelings, a sense of oneness with the universe, peacefulness, fear, paranoia, or confusion. Hallucinations can be positive or frightening, and some users experience psychosis-like symptoms or flashbacks.
Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler said he thinks there won’t be problems if growers and therapists follow the law, but expects some Oregonians may provide mushrooms to the unregulated market.
“Every time you open the door, there are individuals who will take advantage of that,” Sickler said. “It’s one more thing law enforcement will have to do when we have to do criminal investigations. We don’t have the staffing for that.”
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