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Cities, counties will ask voters to ban psilocybin facilities

Psychedelic mushrooms, pictured in this 2021 file photo.
Rommert Crepin /Flickr
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Psychedelic mushrooms, pictured in this 2021 file photo.

Voters in a growing number of cities and counties in Oregon will have the chance to put either a temporary or permanent ban on psilocybin facilities this fall.

Oregon voters approved a statewide measure two years ago that legalized use of the psychedelic mushrooms under supervision by trained professionals. The therapy is meant to assist people suffering from a variety of mental health issues. The initiative also allowed municipalities to opt out of the law, but only if voters approved a local ban.

In Philomath, Councilor Jessica Andrade spoke against a proposal to ask voters to permanently ban psilocybin facilities. She noted that 60 percent of Philomath voters approved the statewide legalization initiative.

“It feels wrong, especially considering the fact that we did vote on this as a community, and we did vote to allow for these facilities,” she said.

Councilor Teresa Nielson said she favored a permanent ban, noting that city leaders could, in the future, ask voters to overturn that ban.

“Two years is not enough time to know whether this is going to work,” said Nielson. “It’s just not long enough.”

In the end, the Philomath council decided to ask voters for a two-year moratorium. That question will also be on the ballot in Lebanon and Toledo.

Voters in Linn County will be asked to consider a permanent ban in unincorporated parts of the county.

Meanwhile, city leaders in Albany are still deciding whether they want to ask voters there to approve a ban.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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