New campaign asks voters in Oregon to say yes to psilocybin therapy

Published Oct 19, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
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We are spending a whole lot more time in front of our television sets these days. As a result, many agencies have turned towards a variety of advertising options that will bring their messages to consumers straight through the big screen. It's no surprise that this is the case, but what has come as a bit of a shock to some is the advice that's now being offered is about psilocybin treatment.

The campaign

The campaign is working to persuade voters to vote yes when their ballots arrive, and to increase awareness among the general public. They've decided to take out a television advertisement that can help to explain to voters what measure 109 is really about. The 30-second advertisement features none other than Oregon State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Howard, who reveals the details behind the action that she wants residents to vote on.

Measure 109

Measure 109 is designed to regulate psilocybin therapy in Oregon, a process that would be slowly phased in over two years. If voters approve the action, it could usher in a new era of psychedelics medicine by legalizing the use of psilocybin, as long as it is under the direct supervision of trained facilitators who fully understand the drug and all of its potential benefits and adverse effects. It would not, however, allow psilocybin to be sold in stores or consumed for recreational purposes.

Billboards get the publics attention

The Vote Yes on Measure 109 campaign isn't depending on television advertising alone. They've also rented out billboard real estate to raise awareness for their cause. The billboards each include a message that advocates for acceptance of measure 109, citing beneficial reasons for voting yes, like the fact that psilocybin therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for common conditions such as depression and anxiety.

The Heroic Hearts Project

Vote Yes on Measure 109 isn't the only campaign in support of the cause. The Heroic Hearts Project an agency that helps to connect veterans with therapeutic entheogenic options, and though they typically focus on plants such as ayahuasca, and do not mention measure 109 specifically in any of their advertising, the group says that psilocybin had also shown to provide significant benefits to medical patients and that it should be legalized for treating a variety of conditions.

Another measure

There is an entirely separate measure that Oregon voters will soon see to decriminalize the possession of drugs and to create treatment programs and addiction services that are accessible to everyone. This campaign is so wildly popular that it garnered a $500 000 from Mark Zuckerberg's foundation, who is openly in support of the cause.

Decriminalize Nature disagrees with the move

Most expect some sort of opposition to movements that are so culturally significant as this. Still, no one could have guessed that the biggest opposer of measure 109 would be another nature-based advocacy group called Decriminalize Nature. Decriminalize Nature has led massive movements to legalize psilocybin along with other entheogenic options, but they say that measure 109 would prohibit equal access to the drug.

We know that psilocybin treatment can be beneficial to all different types of people for a multitude of varying reasons. That stigma tends to deter people from seeking these sort of options, as is already well documented with cannabis. Though measure 109 would make it so that medical patients could access psychedelics. At the same time, under the care of a trained professional, it would still prohibit anyone else from using them to improve their quality of life, with or without a medical reason.

In conclusion

It's time to recognize that psilocybin could hold an essential power that we, as a society, could use for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Much like with cannabis, the most significant danger is in misinformation and stigmas surrounding these all-natural medicines, and our laws should reflect that reality by allowing a free market for psilocybin to flourish. Measure 109 might be an excellent first step to get the ball rolling in the US, but it won't be enough to solve all of the issues that psilocybin users face today.

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