Oregon activists Tom and Sheri Eckert are trying to put psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelics, on the 2020 ballot in Oregon. Their initiative was filed in early July and reached the threshold of 1,000 signatures two weeks after its appearance, thereby requiring the attorney general to file a draft ballot title.
Local news outlet KDRV reports that Secretary of State Bev Clarno has requested public comment on the matter through August 21 to decide "whether the petition complies with the procedural constitutional requirements established in the Oregon Constitution for initiative petitions."
Should the petition clear that hurdle, it must then receive over 110,000 signatures by July 2, 2020, in order to qualify for inclusion on the November 2020 statewide ballot, where it would need a simple majority to pass.
The ballot measure would not allow mushrooms to be sold in stores. Instead, it would allow adults, age 21 and older, to visit official service centers on the recommendation of a medical professional in order to take psilocybin under the supervision of a licensed facilitator. Those centers would be overseen by the Oregon Health Authority.
"The facilitator kind of orients you to the service, asks some questions, gets to know you and your desires and your intentions and issues a bit more," Tom Eckert told Oregon Public Broadcasting. "Nobody's going to be taking psilocybin home with them to administer to themselves, which means that there will be none in public, no one driving," Eckert added.
Unlike Denver, Colorado, which decriminalized the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in May but has not yet set up a system regulating such lawful use, the Oregon proposal aims to quickly set up a sanctioned system for imbibing the substance.
The Oregon proposal also stands out in another way. As Marijuana Moment has pointed out, the "Oregon measure is distinct in that it's the only one currently aiming to create a way for people to legally obtain the substance through a medical model."
"Psychedelics are uniquely powerful when it comes to creating lasting change in the human being," Eckert told Oregon Public Broadcasting. "It's a unique opportunity and it's been denied for all these years."