The state of Oregon will officially vote on legalizing psilocybin psychotherapy in the upcoming November election, after well over 150,000 signatures were collected to secure the landmark ballot measure. The initiative focuses on licensed and regulated psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in clinical environments.
After more than a year of work, and significant pandemic disruptions, the Oregon Psilocybin Society has successfully collected the signatures necessary for IP-34, an initiative legalizing psilocybin psychotherapy, to be on the statewide ballot in the November 2020 election.
IP-34 is solely focused on legalizing psilocybin within a clinical and therapeutic context. Unlike other, more broad, calls for legalization or decriminalization, this ballot measure does not allow for recreational uses of psilocybin, or home cultivation. Instead, it lays out a two-year timeline for the planning and development of licensing and regulatory processes for establishing clinical spaces to administer psilocybin psychotherapy.
“We are thrilled that Oregon voters have come together to tackle mental health and depression by qualifying this ballot measure for the November election,” says Tom Eckert, co-chief petitioner on the initiative. “Oregonians deserve access to psilocybin therapy as a treatment option – and now we officially have a chance to win it.”
On Wednesday the 8th of July, the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division officially verified and accepted the petition comprising more than 160,000 signatures, substantially higher than the required threshold for acceptance. If successful in the November election, the ballot measure will enable legal manufacturing of psilocybin, and operation of psilocybin clinics, by January 2023.
Other groups around the United States have been working to get similar ballot measures up for the November election, with varying degrees of success. Most successful is a Washington DC measure called I-81, which has just been submitted to the DC Board of Elections for final verification and approval. I-81 is a more general decriminalization initiative targeted at a broad classification of entheogenic plants and fungi.
Activists in California, on the other hand, failed to gather enough signatures for a decriminalization ballot measure after the COVID-19 outbreak, and subsequent stay-at-home orders, stifled their grassroots campaigns.