‘Magic’ Mushrooms Are Now Legal In Oregon As State Begins Training ‘Facilitators’ To Supervise Use

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Bronson Winslow Second Amendment & Politics Reporter
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Oregon’s Ballot Measure 109, the first legislation to legalize hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms for therapy, took effect Jan. 1, and the application for licensed facilitators has already begun, according to The New York Times.

The measure, codified as ORS 475A, will allow the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic” mushrooms to adults at supervised, licensed facilities, according to the legislation. The law, originally passed in 2020, legalizes the use of psilocybin, but mandates that those who wish to use the drug must be observed by trained facilitators. (RELATED: Oregon Votes To Decriminalize Certain Amounts Of Meth, Heroin, Cocaine)

On Jan. 2, one day after Oregon implemented the law, the state opened the application process to become a trained facilitator, according to the NYT. Facilitators will be tasked in guiding users through the experience at an approved location.

Though the application process opened after the law was implemented, a state-approved preliminary course was first held in December to train an initial group of potential facilitators, according to the NYT. The group of students, composed of seasoned mental health professionals, paid nearly $10,000 to participate in the course, but did not get to use psilocybin while training.

Officials were still working out the regulations at the time, and mushrooms could not be used, according to the NYT. Instead, the students worked on meditation or intensive breathing practices meant to simulate the psychedelic experience.

Psilocybin, the naturally occurring psychedelic in “magic” mushrooms, has the potential to treat severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and end-of-life anxiety among the terminally ill, according to the NYT. Scientists are still debating the effects of psilocybin, but some believe the drug rewires the brain to give patients a new outlook on life.

Though psilocybin has the potential to be used in therapy, there are risks to taking the drug, according to Medical News Today. Some people experience persistent alterations to how they view the world, and taking the drug can lead to fear, agitation and confusion.

The law was passed in November of 2020, but a two-year delay was enforced to allow the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) time to set up a system to regulate its use, according to the OPB.

In December 2022, the OHA announced that it had decided final regulations for the implementation of ORS 475A, according to KOIN. Before the OHA released the regulations, it released a draft of the regulations and allowed 21 days of feedback.

During the feedback period, Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) received over 200 written comments and held six hours of public comment, according to KOIN.

“These comments helped to further refine and improve the rules, which have now been adopted as final. The final rules are a starting place for the nation’s first regulatory framework for psilocybin services, and we will continue to evaluate and evolve this work as we move into the future,” André Ourso, administrator of the Center for Health Protection, and Angie Allbee, section manager of OPS, wrote in a letter to the public.

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