PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon is moving closer to becoming the first state to roll out psilocybin therapy as the Oregon Health Authority refines how the program will work.
A public comment forum for the measure was held on Monday. This was the latest hearing in a host of open meetings where the OHA hears from the public ahead of finalizing the legal medical use of psilocybin.
Many who spoke were doctors, lawyers, physicians and advocates for the use of magic mushrooms in therapy. Those who spoke mainly had issues with the verbiage used in the written text.
“I urge you to make it easier for people to bring loved ones and other people with them to psilocybin services, which can increase comfort and safety. And that can be achieved by expanding the definition of client support person,” said Mason Marks, professor at Harvard Law.
The state already approved research and testing of the therapy back in May of 2022. The rest of the approval process needs to happen before Jan 1, 2023. That remaining work lies in fleshing out things such as storage, transportation and administration of the drug.
Many who spoke believe some of the rules are too cumbersome. They specifically questioned prior drug conviction affecting a patient’s eligibility.
“It doesn’t make a difference to public health if someone has a drug conviction of 1 year, 11 months ago or 2 years and 1 month ago. Doesn’t matter, that’s just rules for the sake of rules,” said Dr. Peter Addy.
Currently in the text, intoxicants, along with nicotine and caffeine are not allowed to be used while also receiving psilocybin treatment. Many who spoke want to see this rule removed completely.
The committees next hearing will be Friday, Dec. 16. The rules will be finalized by Dec. 31, 2022, and the OHA plans to start accepting applications for psilocybin services or manufacturing licenses on Jan. 2, 2023.