(The Center Square) — Oregonians are one step closer to voting on legalizing psychedelic, or psilocybin, mushrooms for medicinal purposes this fall.
Chief petitioners Tom and Sheri Eckert of the Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Initiative (Initiative Petition 34) announced Monday that their campaign has collected the necessary 112,020 signatures to put the initiative to a statewide vote in November.
IP 34 would permit the manufacture, delivery, administration of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes in licensed facilities. Procedures would be developed over a two-year period overseen by the Oregon Health Authority.
Tom Eckert is a psychotherapist in Beaverton, Oregon, who has advocated for psilocybin’s clinical potential with his wife, Sheri, for the past several years.
The campaign collected 164,782 signatures total. The initiative will appear on the November ballot should a sufficient samplings of signatures be verified by Oregon election officials.
IP 34 has been endorsed at the federal level by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
As a Schedule I drug, psilocybin mushrooms have been illegal under the Controlled Substances Act since the 1970s.
Psilocybin has since been decriminalized in Oakland, Calif., and Denver, Colo.
A broader proposal to legalize psilocybin statewide in California for anyone 21 years of age or older—the California Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative—failed to make the 2018 state ballot.
Under the Right to Try Act signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2018, psilocybin is among the “eligible investigation drugs” available to terminally ill patients.
Psilocybin completed the law’s required phase 1 clinical trial, which was conducted by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Preliminary research by the institute held that psilocybin may have potential in treating anxiety, depression, and physical pain. Its study of psilocybin’s long-term side effects were largely inconclusive.