Many are aware, and many aren’t. Briefly, let me explain the question that some may have: “what is psilocybin”? Psilocybin, is known to many as shrooms and/or magic mushrooms, and they are chemical compounds obtained from certain types of dried or fresh hallucinogenic (psychedelic) mushrooms found in Mexico, South America, Southern, and Northwest regions of the United States.
Psilocybin is a psychedelic, well, by definition anyway. By definition, a psychedelic is a class of psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood, and cognitive processes. Psychedelic benefits/ medicinal benefits of psilocybin are found in many plants like Cannabis (THC), and occur naturally in trees, vines, seeds, fungi, and leaves.
Like Reefer Madness, and the Devil’s Lettuce ridiculousness pushed by the United States government, those that don’t support fungus/a vegetable/ a plant that grounds naturally from Earth, believe a lot of the lies that create the stigmas surrounding magic mushrooms. Along with Cannabis, psilocybin, has been listed as a Schedule I drug since the 70’s. Plants, on schedule 1, which means no medicinal value. Our government is something else.
The federal government doesn’t believe in the medicinal benefits of psilocybin. They believe that it has no medicinal properties and has high potential for abuse. Psilocybin is considered unsafe and bad for mental health, when in fact, psilocybin research is proving otherwise!
So much so that Initiative Petition 34 is on its way to the Oregon ballot this fall!
Initiative Petition 34/ IP 34 gives those suffering from depression, anxiety, and anyone that would benefit, a new treatment option by creating a licensed and supervised psilocybin-assisted therapy system. In order to have qualified for the ballot, the initiative needed 135,000 signatures; however, the total signature count was 164,782!
Oregon is on the way to being the first state in this oppressive country with legalization of psychedelics for medicine through psilocybin-assisted therapy. Not decriminalized- but legalized!
The People of the State of Oregon find that:
· Oregon has the one of the highest prevalence of mental illness among adults in the nation.
· An estimated one in every five adults in Oregon is coping with a mental health condition.
· The Governor has declared addiction as a public health crisis in this state.
· 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.
· The United States Food and Drug Administration has determined that preliminary clinical evidence indicates that psilocybin may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapies for treatment-resistant depression.
· Granted a Breakthrough Therapy designation for a treatment that uses psilocybin as a therapy for such depression.
The Purposes of the 2020 Act
· To educate the people of this state about the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating mental health conditions.
· To reduce the prevalence of mental illness among adults in this state, and to improve the physical, mental, and social well-being of all people in this state.
· To develop a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that psilocybin services will become and remain a safe, accessible and affordable therapeutic option for all persons 21 years of age and older in this state for whom psilocybin may be appropriate.
· To protect the safety, welfare, health and peace of the people of this state by prioritizing this state’s limited law enforcement resources in the most effective, consistent and rational way;
· After a two-year program development period, to permit persons licensed, controlled and regulated by this state to legally manufacture psilocybin products and provide psilocybin services to persons 21 years of age and older, subject to the provisions of this 2020 Act.
· Establish a comprehensive regulatory framework concerning psilocybin products and psilocybin services under state law.
· The People of the State of Oregon intend that the provisions of this 2020 Act, together with other provisions of state law, will: prevent the distribution of psilocybin products to other persons who are not permitted to possess psilocybin products under the provisions of sections 3 to 129 of this 2020 Act and rules adopted under sections 3 to 129 of this 2020 Act, including but not limited to persons under 21 years of age.
· Prevent the diversion of psilocybin products from this state to other states.
Hear More from Those on the Front Lines: Tom and Sheri Eckert, Chief Petitioners of IP 34 / The Psilocybin Therapy Initiative of Oregon
One of my connections and big supporters, Rick Mock, a Cannabis industry specialist/cultivator/writer/jack of all trades- introduced me to Sam Chapman, the Psilocybin Therapy Initiative Campaign Manager. I needed to get the scoop on this amazing initiative and amazing accomplishment of getting those signatures!
The Yes to Psilocybin initiative- how did this all begin?
(Tom Eckert)- “We started developing this campaign, which was the first of its kind, back in 2015. We always targeted 2020. We gave ourselves a long runway because we wanted to see the science develop and public opinions shift, which has happened. We wanted to build strong coalitions, which we continue to do”.
(Sheri Eckert)- “As therapists, we considered the mental health crisis which we continue to experience in Oregon, and decided that we wanted to help make psilocybin therapy a viable option while retaining the kind of safety and practice standards that makes the research so successful”.
How did you all collect over 160K signatures during the pandemic? Phenomenal job by the way!
(Tom Eckert)- “Thankfully, we were almost there when we took our canvassers off the streets because of COVID-19. But getting that last chunk of signatures was tough. Our team figured out how to finish the job with everyone’s help. In the end, tens of thousands of Oregonians put in the extra effort to sign and mail in their petitions”.
Can you talk about how legalization for therapy works when it comes to employment and housing policies?
(Sheri Eckert)- “This measure does not legalize psilocybin use at home, though it would not interfere with other reform efforts to loosen those restrictions. The language of the measure does not speak to employment policies”.
Does the initiative support primary care physicians prescribing psilocybin?
(Tom Eckert)- “Under the Oregon measure, psilocybin will be administered in licensed, therapeutic environments, by trained facilitators, without the need for a physician’s prescription or diagnosis. If psilocybin is eventually approved at the federal level by the FDA, then physicians will be able to prescribe it for the treatment of specific conditions. Side by side, we think the FDA tract and the Oregon model are complementary, combining to cast a wide net, while preserving the kind of science-based safety and practice standards that many people desire”.
I understand that the initiative supports a treatment program- does this mean no medicinal grows at home?
(Sheri Eckert)- “The measure would create access to psilocybin therapy in licensed facilities for anyone who might safely benefit. The measure does not address home use and would not interfere with efforts to loosen those restrictions”.
So- what happens if passed in November, what’s next?
(Tom Eckert)- “If the measure passes, there will be a two-year period to develop the framework and prepare for licensing and implementation. The Oregon Health Authority will appoint an Advisory Board of experts from diverse disciplines who will, among other things, assist in the development of requirements for licensure and criteria for approving training programs, as well as engage and educate decision makers at all levels of government about the program”.
Is there anything that people in and out of Oregon can do to support the initiative?
(Sheri Eckert)- “We are actively fundraising for the stretch run. Anyone can donate at www.yesonip34.org. We want to do as much education within Oregon as possible, so we are looking for opportunities to get in front of different groups of people. Beyond that, we would just ask everyone to become educated about the initiative and spread accurate information. When people understand this initiative, they tend to support it”.
I love Oregon so much. It is such a “come as you are, we love you anyway” type of place. I connected with nature and plants on different levels while exploring Oregon. I connected with people with passion for all things medicinal in nature.
Let’s make this happen! Let’s help Oregon because helping Oregon helps us all! Legalize nature through psilocybin-assisted therapy! It’s time America because there are in fact medicinal benefits associated with psilocybin!
*article originally published by Author/Writer on Medium