Last April, WW reported on the efforts of Beaverton counselors Tom and Sheri Eckert to draft a proposal for a ballot measure that would legalize therapeutic psilocybin—hallucinogenic mushrooms—in Oregon.
The couple has nearly nearly completed the initiative and could begin asking Oregonians for signatures this July, The Register Guard first reported.
The Eckerts—who founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society in 2016—say guided shroom "treatments" could help people suffering from addiction, depression and anxiety.
Federally, psychedelic mushrooms are still classified as a Schedule I drug—meaning the U.S. government considers them likely to be abused, and not legitimate medicinally.
In Oregon, possession of psilocybin is a misdemeanor offense, downgraded from a felony last year. And Portland in particular is a hotbed of experimental microdosing—taking minute amounts of psychedelics on a regular basis in attempts to treat a variety of mental and psychical ailments.
The Eckert's plan for legalizing mushroom use would include licensing state "psilocybin service centers" where patients would go take the hallucinogen and participate in therapy sessions with a registered and trained "facilitator."
Like medical marijuana, the proposal says, the psilocybin would come from a licensed producer and people would need a doctor's note to be cleared to participate.
The Eckert's proposal—which would need tens of thousands of signatures to be included on Oregon's 2020 ballot—would also include a provision that decriminalizes possession of psilocybin in small amounts for Oregon adults 21 and older.
Currently, the couple is working with attorneys to finalize the language for their proposal. The two are also traveling the state to recruit like-minded organizations, such as the Cascade Mycological Society in Eugene, to join their effort.
"We are in it to win it," Tom Eckert told the Register Guard, "and think it really has a good chance of passing."
It's been a year since WW reported on the Eckert's bid for the ballot. Last year, the couple told WW they were taking their time in order to craft a measure that would win.
"Psilocybin addresses huge issues such as depression and addiction," Tom Eckert said then. "Psilocybin works for smoking cessation better than any other. This is a revolutionary thing. We have to be careful with it. We don't want to screw it up."