Last Friday, May 22, petitioners submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State a ballot initiative (IP 34) seeking to permit the use of psilocybin for therapeutic use under a licensing and regulatory framework administered by the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”). The submission was quite a feat, especially given the challenges presented by COVID-19 during the signature gathering period.
Readers of this blog will recall that IP 34 does not mean psilocybin would be available in stores–or even home use–and psilocybin products would not be branded or marketed to the general public. Rather, the purpose of the measure is to permit the use of psilocybin in licensed settings under the supervision of a trained facilitator.
We have been tracking the psilocybin movement for some time now. In August 2018, we wrote about the FDA approving a psilocybin trial for treatment-resistant depression. A few months later we covered the Oregon Attorney General’s approval of Initiative Petition 2020-12—a petition similar to IP 34—and noted the challenges facing the petitioners in collecting signatures and convincing 51% of Oregonians to vote “Yes.” At that time, we guessed that the signature hurdle would sink the initiative.
But the times they are a changing, as the