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Oregonians will vote whether to legalize therapeutic use of 'magic mushrooms'

KPTV Portland logo KPTV Portland 9/29/2020
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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV)- This November, Oregonians will vote whether to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin, otherwise known as ‘magic mushrooms.’

On Tuesday, supporters of Measure 109 came together virtually to talk about the mental health benefits of the drug.

If passed, this measure would allow the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities to adults aged 21 and over.

Currently, the manufacturing and consumption of this drug is illegal under both state and federal law.

Supporters say psilocybin therapy relieves debilitating anxiety and depression that comes with a terminal illness.

On the Zoom call Tuesday, attendees heard from a cancer patient in Portland who has a terminal diagnosis.

Mara McGraw says she underwent psilocybin therapy with a trained facilitator recently after trying other options.

“In just one session, I feel tremendous relief from fear and anxiety that had been burdening me for three years now, and I did not receive that type of relief through a year of talk therapy. So, one session gave me more than going weekly to talk therapy for an entire year,” said McGraw.

Groups who oppose the measure include the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

The APA writes in a letter to Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, “It is unwise to authorize treatment that is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

The APA adds, “Science does not yet indicate that psilocybin is a safe medical treatment for mental health conditions.”

Last year, the FDA designated psilocybin therapy as a breakthrough therapy.

While groups opposing the measure say early trials have shown promise, they say it does not establish safety and efficacy of the treatment, just the process to further study it.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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