On election day, Oregon voters approved measures that will make its drug laws the most liberal in the nation. Reform ballot measures now allow the use of psilocybin mushrooms in therapy and reform drug crimes by decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs.
Voters passed Measure 109 allowing people over 21 to use what is known as magic mushrooms in supervised therapy sessions conducted by a licensed professional. It was approved by a 56.21 percent to 43.79 margin.
Within two years, the state Heath Authority will have to issue rules governing the growing and processing of psilocybin mushrooms, and the licensing of therapy centers and the professionals who will provide treatment.
One of the measure’s major financers said that it was thoughtfully designed and intended to give Oregonians access to a therapy with substantial potential. It is unknown how existing entrepreneurs and uses will be governed under this measure.
Measure 110 makes major revisions to the state’s drug laws. This measure passed by a wider 59.10 to 40.90 percent margin.
It eliminates criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of all drugs and diverts resources to treatment services. Possession of small amounts of drugs will be punishable by a fine that will not exceed $100 which is roughly the cost of a traffic citation.
Criminal justice advocates argue that this measure will help end racial disparities in policing. But possessing relatively small amounts of drugs exceeding the amounts under Measure 110 still carry criminal penalties. Selling small amounts of any drugs will remain a criminal offense.
Measure 110 was copied from Portugal’s drug decriminalization. Incidents and severity of drug overdoses were reduced when decriminalization was used with increased access to counseling, therapy, and addiction treatment.
Other Oregon drug crimes still carry severe consequences and punishment. An attorney can help anyone accused of these offenses protect their rights.