Portland got used to the The New York Times providing glowing reviews of our town. Prior to the pandemic, it was a regular occurrence. So much so that it became a bit of a trope. But that sort of coverage has been harder to come by, as of late. That’s why seeing Oregon’s exploration of a new startup space in the NYT caught my interest. That space? Psilocybin mushrooms.
Stigmatized in law and medicine for the past half-century, psychedelics are in the midst of a sudden revival, with a growing body of research suggesting that the mind-altering compounds could upend psychiatric care. Governments in several places have cautiously started to open access, and as Oregon voters approved a broad drug decriminalization plan in 2020, they also backed an initiative to allow the use of mushrooms as therapy.
This summer, the state debuted a first-of-its-kind legal market for psilocybin mushrooms, more widely known as magic mushrooms. Far from the days of illicit consumption in basements and vans, the program allows people to embark on a therapeutic trip, purchasing mushrooms produced by a state-approved grower and consuming them in a licensed facility under the guidance of a certified facilitator.
Experts quoted in the article believe that Oregon’s work could advance the use of psychedelics in new and meaningful ways. But they also share that the lack of medical oversight could be problematic.
For other states, they’re very much in a “watch and see” mode on the subject. I’m much the same way. Curious to see where this goes.
For more, read “A New Era of Psychedelics in Oregon.”