POLK COUNTY, Ore. (KGW) — More than 100 Oregon cities and 27 counties put psilocybin bans on the November ballot, two years after voters approved Measure 109 in 2020, legalizing the psychedelic drug in specific settings.
In most of those communities, the bans are projected to pass, according to The Oregonian — temporarily or permanently prohibiting psilocybin-related businesses, services centers and manufacturers.
In Polk County, leaders put a permanent ban on the ballot.
“So far, 53.7% yes to 47.3% no,” said Polk County Commissioner Craig Pope, looking over the most recent results.
He explained why he opted to pose the question to voters once again, after speaking with county residents who cited concerns over another statewide measure that decriminalized small amounts of hard drugs.
“I heard a lot of frustrations from people, most specifically about Measure 110, and how they felt that Measure 110 was a failed policy and a failed idea,” Pope said. “And as they heard more about the psilocybin idea, they are very wary of that.”
Psilocybin services are yet to be fully implemented in Oregon. Health leaders and stakeholders are still working out the details and rules for every part of the process. They have until the end of the year to finalize the plans. Research suggests psilocybin may help address depression, anxiety, trauma and addiction
Under Measure 109, psilocybin could only be legally used by people 21 and older in a controlled facility under the supervision of a licensed professional, so people wouldn’t be able to purchase it and take it home.
Pope said even though these business are projected to be banned within the unincorporated areas of Polk County, he believes those wishing to access these services won’t have to travel far to find them.
“We’re backing into it, it’s the right way to do it,” Pope said. “I know the science will come along with it and let’s give it any opportunity to be proven out. Honestly, I don’t think that our potential consumers of psilocybin in Polk County will have to go any long distances in the future.”
Several communities, like Multnomah County, Portland and Washington County, didn’t put it on the ballot.