On Nov. 3, 2020, Oregon became the first state to pass legislation to legalize psilocybin therapy and psychological treatment. Measure 109 seeks to set up programs for controlled administration to patients over the age of 21. 

Also passed was Measure 110, which decriminalized schedule I drugs, which is the category that psilocybin falls into. 

Oregon is not the first location to loosen the restrictions on psilocybin, the cities of Oakland, Denver, Washington D.C., and Ann Arbor have also taken steps to decriminalize the drug, but it is the first state to offer groundwork for therapeutic usage. The development and distribution of the drug will be tightly controlled though; there will be no dispensaries opening to provide the drug for recreational use. Citizens must be over 21 to receive the drug, and may only consume it inside of a licensed facility with a certified therapist present, according to Scientific American.

This measure will pave the way for new kinds of treatment for issues ranging from mental health disorders to serious addictions. Not only will it help people in these aspects, but it will also begin to overturn the stigma surrounding these drugs and their usage. 

Psilocybin has gotten a bad reputation due to the criminalization of its usage in today’s society. Yet, it can provide not only a host of mental health benefits but physical health benefits as well. In a 2011 study, researchers found a significant increase in their subjects’ openness to new experiences, in addition to increases in creativity and aesthetic appreciation. 

Psilocybin also has laid the bedwork for many ancient civilizations, such as the Aztecs, who referred to them as the “divine mushroom,” and modern neuroscience has revealed how it interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain in order to produce a range of consciousness-altering effects (Ecohustler).

We need to do a better job of breaking down the stigma associated with psilocybin. It’s time to focus on the real benefits it can do for society, and for those suffering from multitudes of different inflictions, such as PTSD, depression, and cocaine and nicotine addictions. — Ella Cutter

Photo: Measure 109, passed on Nov. 3, 2020, will legalize psilocybin and lay groundwork for the drug’s usage across the state. Image credit Pexels.

Writer / Former-EIC | + posts

Ella Cutter is a senior staff writer for the Index. She is currently pursuing degrees in journalism and editing and publishing, and also works for the downtown Portland indie press zines + things.

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