The first state to legalize therapeutic use of psilocybin now has an advisory board.
Last November, when Oregon voters passed Measure 109 making the state the country’s first to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic and medicinal purposes, the state had two years to develop a psilocybin-assisted therapy program. Oregon has taken a major step in that direction by creating the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board. The board is charged with creating the state’s regulatory framework for psilocybin using science as its guide.
The group is made up of top doctors and researchers from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), fungi experts from Oregon State University, therapists, health experts, and community-oriented licensed clinical social workers.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown acknowledged in a statement this week how clinical studies, including research from Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, and NYU, have shown promising results in using psilocybin—a major psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms—to treat people suffering from anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
“Like many, I was initially skeptical when I first heard of Measure 109,” Gov. Brown said. “But if we can help people suffering from PTSD, depression, trauma, and addiction—including veterans, cancer patients and others—supervised psilocybin therapy is a treatment worthy of further consideration.”
The Psilocybin Advisory Board will hold its first official meeting by March 31, as required by Measure 109. In addition to designated agency positions, the board is required to have seats for researchers, harm reduction specialists, physicians, naturopaths, and psychologists. Gov. Brown’s Recommended Budget for 2021-2023 includes $5.6 million to implement Measure 109.
“I am proud that Oregon continues to be a leader in evidence-based approaches to help improve health and well-being of its communities, and look forward to working with the other highly-qualified members of the board to ensure that science guides our implementation of Measure 109,” said Atheir Abbas, M.D., assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience and psychiatry in the OHSU School of Medicine.
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