Since years one of the most prominent advocates of federally legalized marijuana on Capitol Hill, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer has now thrown his support behind Oregon’s Measure 109 which aims to legalize the psilocybin assisted therapy.
Blumenauer (D) is a long-time cannabis supporter and submitted in 2018 the HR420 Bill which aimed to legalize cannabis on federal level. Blumenauer has additionally also supported other federal initiatives in the fight to #legalize marijuana.
Yet, this week his advocacy took an additional turn as he threw his support behind the upcoming Oregon ballot attempt to legalize medical use of #psilocybin, or magic mushrooms. The psilocybin campaign was launched by the Oregon Psilocybin Society.
“The intent of the 2020 Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon is to advance a breakthrough therapeutic model currently being perfected in research settings at top universities around the world”
— Tom & Sheri Eckert, chief petitioners Oregon Psilocybin Society
The campaign, initially launched in 2018, had gathered the 110,000 required signatures before the Covid-19 lockdown in the USA. By May this year, despite social distancing, the campaigners had collected another 25,000, or in total 135,000, signatures and turned in the Oregon Psychedelic Services Act (OPSA) to become an official ballot measure. Early July 2020 the state’s legislature certified the act and voting will take place this Fall.
Now the popular House Representative Earl Blumenauer has decided to support both the ballot and also help raise funds for the campaign. Blumenauer, who announced his support via an email, thinks the proposition, which doesn’t aim to legalize recreational use of shrooms, is an important milestone and will help thousands every year.
“... tackles an important issue in our community, mental health, and it does so in an innovative and responsible way. Measure 109 gives Oregonians who suffer from depression and anxiety the opportunity to overcome their mental health challenges through a program designed for safety and support. It’s healthcare policy done right, and it will help thousands.”
— Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), reported by Marijuana Moment
He additionally called upon his supporters to donate to the campaign in order to increase awareness around the subject.
In recent years there has been increasing momentum around the medical use of psilocybin, as evidenced by a growing number of research and high profile seminars in the medical sector as well as increasing mainstream media coverage.
“Research at America’s top universities shows that psilocybin therapy can help people suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction. Developed with therapeutic and mental health experts, Measure 109 brings this treatment to Oregon through a licensed, research-based system that supports and protects those in urgent need.”
— Rep. Earl Blumenauer statement
Additionally, in recent years several states have made legal moves around the topic of psilocybin and psychedelics. Shrooms were recently decriminalized in Denver, Santa Cruz, and Oakland. Both New York and and Vermont are considering to do the same on the state level, but the Oregon Psychedelic Services Act (OPSA) is the first attempt at properly legalizing a form of psilocybin consumption. Recreational users will have to wait longer though as the act doesn’t cover them.
Offering more legal natural options for sufferers of depression and anxiety can be but a positive evolution.
Ballot Measure 19 contains an additional proposition, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act (DATRA), or IP44, whose aim is to lead enforcement agencies and health official to treat drug addiction as a health issue rather than criminal issue. The proposal suggest to use existing cannabis tax revenue to fund suggested drug treatment.