The most surprising item you may see on your Nov. 3 ballot is Measure 109.
Oregon voters are being asked to decide whether or not to legalize psilocybin — also known as magic mushrooms — with very specific rules, restrictions and timelines.
Psilocybin is a compound found in certain mushrooms. It is psychoactive, meaning has effects on the brain, and it has the ability to induce hallucinations. It is being studied as a treatment for alcoholism and other addictions, and more recently for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia. Historically, it has religious and medicinal uses in some cultures, and has a low potential for abuse.
Researchers at well-respected institutions are increasingly studying psilocybin to determine how to best use it to help people. But there is much to be learned. Like all psychoactive drugs, it can have serious side effects.
Psilocybin is a Schedule I narcotic, and it has been decriminalized in a few places, but remains illegal except for medical research.
While it’s very possible that psilocybin will become a valuable therapeutic tool in the future, we don’t see the advantage to Oregon being out in front of the rest of the nation. We hope the research continues, and that we see a similar measure on the ballot in a few years, but for now, we recommend a “No” vote on Measure 109.