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This election season Measure 109 passed by a comfortable 55.74% majority, translating to a roughly 250,000 vote difference. Measure 109, or the Psilocybin Mushroom Services Program Initiative, allows specially trained and chosen physicians to prescribe psilocybin to adults 21 and over at specific service centers. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) plans to set up the facilities and infrastructure necessary to fully deploy the measure over the next two years.
What exactly does the measure mean for Oregon citizens? Measure 109, and the complementary Measure 110, are the sources of mild confusion and plenty of memes. Everyone has questions. Can I go out and buy some mushrooms? Can I grow my own? Has Oregon officially become party city USA?
In short, no. Measure 109 allows Psilocybin to be doled out by authorized professionals for those seeking treatment for OCD, depression, pathological headaches, anxiety or addiction, but strictly at specific service centers. Measure 109 doesn’t mean the full legalization of Psilocybin and it doesn’t allow you to grow or use it privately. However, the passing of Measure 109, Measure 110 and similar decriminalization acts across the US seem to indicate a potential new national policy towards psychoactive drugs.
Psilocybin is almost entirely non-addictive, and has been shown scientifically to have no long-lasting negative effects. The FDA has officially acknowledged that Psilocybin can be used as treatment. Psilocybin is not actually a specific fungus, rather a compound present in many different mushrooms. There is no specific “magic mushroom”, it’s just a blanket term for mushrooms containing enough Psilocybin to evoke a reaction. Psilocybin elicits different and widely varying effects depending on the amount one ingests. Whether you have a good trip or not can depend on your mindset, environment, support group, previous experience and a variety of other factors.
Besides the purely physical effects (heightened heartbeat, pupil dilation, etc), Psilocybin is best known for its psychological effects and is able to evoke extreme feelings, both good and bad as well as hallucinations. Bad trips are typically characterized by feelings of fear and paranoia, usually caused by an uncomfortable environment or the innate fear of doing something for the first time. Good trips are typically described as being almost spiritual experiences, bringing out feelings of deep connection with the environment or your surroundings. Trained professionals, namely the ones employed by the measure, can easily prevent the possibility of a bad trip through carefully decorated rooms and good company.
The most important effect of psilocybin for the purposes of this bill is the clear and proven connection between responsible Psilocybin consumption and long-term positive change.