As crazy as Oregon is, if you can believe it, psychedelic mushrooms were not actually legal in the state. Until now. Voters passed a ballot measure legalizing psilocybin for psychiatric use.
Oregon will become the first state in the country to legalize psilocybin Tuesday with the passage of Measure 109.
Measure 109 was passing by 56.12% Tuesday at 8:50 p.m. with 1,832,513 votes counted.
Multiple cities have decriminalized the substance, but Oregon will become the first to permit supervised use statewide if that majority holds.
The measure, backed by chief petitioners wife-and-husband Sheri and Thomas Eckert of Beaverton, will allow regulated use of psychedelic mushrooms in a therapeutic setting.
The Eckerts, both psychotherapists, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that psilocybin could help people struggling with issues from depression to anxiety to addiction.
“We need options. And this is a valid therapeutic option that could help thousands of people,” Tom Eckert told The Oregonian/OregonLive in September.
The new law will allow anyone age 21 or older who passes a screening to access the services for “personal development.”
Dr. Bronner’s soap company was a major financial supporter of the measure, donating more than $1 million directly and providing most of the money behind a political committee that gave another $1.5 million.
Can’t imagine what kind of “personal development” the stoners and hipsters in Portland are going to partake in.
Another ballot measure passed that decriminalized common hard drugs, such as heroin and meth.
Oregon made history Tuesday in the movement to reconsider the nation’s war on drugs by becoming the first state to decriminalize small amounts of heroin and other street drugs.
Voters overwhelmingly supported Measure 110, a coup for the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, the same criminal justice reform group that backed Oregon’s successful marijuana legalization effort in 2014.
Partial returns as of 11 p.m. Tuesday showed the measure winning 59% to 41%.
The Drug Policy Alliance poured more than $4 million into the decriminalization campaign, far outspending the $95,000 raised by opponents. The organization receives support from billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros, who is on the alliance board.
Other major funders of the effort included Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who along with his wife Priscilla Chan gave $500,000, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which gave $150,000, and national ACLU, which gave another $150,000, per state campaign finance reports.
The measure also got a boost from singer John Legend, who recently tweeted his support.
Still, the past two weeks featured a scrappy resistance led by critics, including former Gov. John Kitzhaber, who argued the measure would undermine the role of courts in getting people into drug treatment and would not guarantee much-needed treatment beds.
The measure has three key components:
– It reduces misdemeanor drug possession to a non–criminal violation on par with a traffic offense. People with small amounts of drugs including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD, psilocybin, methadone and oxycodone will get a ticket and face a $100 fine or have the option of being screened for a substance abuse disorder.
– It reduces penalties for what are now felony drug possession cases, which involve larger quantities. Under Measure 110, most of those offenses will be misdemeanors.
– It funnels millions in marijuana tax revenue toward what it calls Addiction Recovery Centers, where people can be screened and directed to treatment options. Those tax dollars will also go to a Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund overseen by the state that could be used to pay for treatment, housing or other programs designed to address addiction.
The latter measure was the benefactor of $3.5 Million in campaign donations, most of which coming from out of state special interest groups, including $2.3 Million from a New York based organization called Drug Policy Action. George Soros sits on the board of directors of their sister organization, Drug Policy Alliance and they have ties to Soros’s Open Society Foundations. The Zuckerbergs also donated $500,000 to the effort via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, also linked to George Soros, threw in $250,000.
Before it became Measure 110, it was Initiative Petition 44, which received close to $2 Million from the aforementioned Drug Policy Action.
Oregon made history tonight by becoming the first state to decriminalize drug possession! Our c4 @DrugPolicyAct led this campaign with @voteYESon110 to make this visionary initiative a reality! This victory is truly transformative. #Election2020 #OREGON pic.twitter.com/3TrrGguh3x
— Drug Policy Alliance (@DrugPolicyOrg) November 4, 2020
Needless to say, Portland is about to get a lot weirder.
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