Psychedelic mushrooms in your future? Oregon edges closer to becoming first state to license therapeutic use

Credit: David Kovaluk/St. Louis Public Radio
Credit: David Kovaluk/St. Louis Public Radio

Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we’ve seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. Whoa.

“Like many, I was initially skeptical when I first heard of Measure 109,” [Governor Kate] Brown said in a statement. “But if we can help people suffering from PTSD, depression, trauma and addiction — including veterans, cancer patients, and others — supervised psilocybin therapy is a treatment worthy of further consideration.”

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It would be foolish to posit psilocybin-assisted therapy as an answer to all that ails our society, or even our mental health system. But it would be one more option for those who need it, and both evidence and anecdote suggest it would be life-changing for many. That would be enough. That would be so much.

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“Oregon has always been a pioneer state,” [addiction expert Todd] Korthuis told me. “It’s been a hotbed of innovation around drug policy for at least 25 years. This is just the next contribution in that history.”

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