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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Oregon Approves Language for Ballot Initiative to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

By: Paul P. Murphy

Oregon's Secretary of State has just approved language for a potential ballot initiative that would legalize psychedelic mushrooms.

Now organizers need to get 117,578 signatures to actually put their initiative on the ballot. If they get the requisite number of signatures, Oregonians could vote on the decriminalization of psilocybins, or magic mushrooms, in the 2020 general election.

If Oregonians were to approve the initiative, it would decriminalize psilocybins and allow for the licensed manufacturing and administration of the substances.

Read more at CNN.

(THL) According to federal laws written in the 1970s under the Controlled Substances Act, psilocybin is considered a Schedule I drug, carrying the harshest federal criminal penalties, under a rubric in which Schedule I substances are those with "no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

But medical science would say that federal law is outdated by decades on both counts, as medical researchers are taking psychedelics seriously for their medicinal value to treat persistent, severe depression, and to make terminally ill patients physically and emotionally more comfortable in their final days.

Psychedelic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances such as MDMA also hold so much promise for treating PTSD, that researchers believe these substances offer hope for the many combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, and suicide rates markedly higher than the general population.

By contrast alcoholic beverages– which have no accepted medical use, are high risk factors in many forms of disease, have a high potential for abuse and addiction, and can even cause depression or worsen it– are not controlled substances under federal law.

Decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms in Denver would follow in the footsteps of California, which first defied federal drug policy with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, legalizing the cultivation and consumption of marijuana and products made from it for medical purposes with a doctor's prescription.

This led to a cascade of marijuana legalization in states and cities throughout the country in a sea change for both drug policy in the United States and the balance of power in the relationship between the states and the U.S. federal government.