Psilocybin Petition Moves Closer Toward November’s Ballot

Oregon may be one step closer to decriminalizing psilocybin, for therapeutic use. Petitioners for the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act submitted their petition  to the Oregon Secretary of State on Friday, May 22.  

So far they’ve collected 135,573 verified signatures, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Elections Division. For inclusion in the November ballot a potential Measure needs at least 112,020 valid signatures before July 2. Organizers aim to collect more signatures than required, and turn them in early, in case some are duplicates or some turn out not to be valid. The Secretary of State’s office  will now validate the signatures, or not, and let the petitioners know if more signatures will be needed.  

Petition Would Permit Supervised Therapeutic Use:  If passed, the Ballot Measure would allow “manufacture, delivery, administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities; imposes two-year development period,” according to the Initiative Petition.  

According to the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act  initiative text: 

“Studies conducted by nationally and internationally recognized medical institutions indicate that psilocybin has shown efficacy, tolerability, and safety in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions, including but not limited to addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, and end-of-life psychological distress”  

Psilocybin has been a Schedule I drug since the 1970s. According to the DEA “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”  

Johns Hopkins research: However, some research institutions including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are currently researching therapeutic uses through their Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research  

“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients. Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential,” said Paul B. Rothman, M.D., Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.   

They are studying whether psilocybin may be effective as a therapy for a range of conditions including opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, anorexia nervosa and alcohol use in people with major depression.   

The petitioners are counselors: According to the Oregonian, the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act’s chief petitioners Sheri Eckert and Thomas Eckert are both counselors who said “they think psilocybin could help people struggling with a variety of issues, from depression to anxiety to addiction.” 

Eckert told OPB the submission represents five years of coalition building. “In times like these, we need accessible therapeutic options that can really impact people’s lives. That is what this initiative is all about. We’re honored by the support and faith that so many Oregonians have put into this effort and we’re excited to have made this leap towards qualification.”