Even though voters state-wide passed a ballot measure in 2020, cities and counties can still choose to opt out.
Measure 109 passed statewide in 2020, which allows the manufacturing and therapeutic use of psilocybin.
Grants Pass, Medford and Ashland all voted to allow psilocybin, but the board of commissioners in Jackson and Josephine County both voted to put it on the ballot again.
Josephine County Commissioner Darin Fowler said, “this is another march in that direction of the slippery slope Oregon has been on, foolishly, in my opinion, for quite a while.”
Cave Junction will vote on a temporary ban on psilocybin-related businesses for two years.
Josephine County will have separate votes on whether manufacturing and service centers will be allowed in unincorporated parts of the county and Cave Junction.
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel spoke against the drug at a board of commissioners meeting in July.
Daniel said, “I am absolutely 100% against the manufacture, the treatment, within Josephine County of this experimental drug. The rules aren’t even made yet. I don’t want to be a guinea pig again. I don’t want to be the testing ground for the United States of America here in Josephine County.”
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to put psilocybin on the November ballot.
While addressing the board, veteran Scott Hicks said, “I am a veteran and I’m asking you, do not block this from us, please.”
56% of Jackson County voters approved the measure in 2020.
But Commissioner Rick Dyer said if you exclude Ashland from that data, the measure would have failed by 5,500 votes in the county.
Commissioner Dave Dotterer said, “we think this is an important issue, we think it’s a very serious issue, and we think that this is one that the voters should have a chance to express their opinions on.”
Mycologist Cameron Meeks, who served on the OHA’s rules and advisory committee for psilocybin, said that legalizing psilocybin will be nothing like cannabis.
“This notion that mushrooms potentially are the new cannabis, is a very short-sighted, if not foolish view of what’s going on in my opinion,” he said, “and the amount of consumption of these products is going to be limited to those experiences, there is no recreational availability whatsoever of any of these products.”
Central Point, Rogue River and Phoenix among many other local cities, will also vote on whether to allow psilocybin-related businesses.