News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Canyon cities send ‘magic mushroom’ bans to voters

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

Both Mill City and Lyons have asked voters to consider bans on psilocybin businesses as Oregon prepares to roll out regulations on legalized hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2023.

Each city council voted separately July 26 during their regular meetings to prevent psilocybin manufacturers and service providers from operating within city limits.

Voters will have the option Nov. 8 to ratify or reject the bans. If voter attitudes are similar to 2020 when psilocybin was legalized statewide, the bans are likely to be upheld as Mill City voted against legalization with 58.5 percent disapproval and Lyons with 64.5 percent disapproval.

Mill City officials noted a ban may not be the last word on the issue of psilocybin, referencing voters’ 2021 decision to overturn a ban on cannabis manufacture and sale that the electorate had supported in 2016.

“Just as with the marijuana initiative, the voters can also repeal it if they wanted to,” said Mill City Mayor Tim Kirsch. “That’s what I like about this system.”

The 2020 initiative to legalize psilocybin, the active hallucinogen in psychedelic mushrooms, sometimes referred to as “magic mushrooms,” allows individuals 21 or older to consume the substance in a therapeutic setting. 

Advocates for legalization said psilocybin is able to treat psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD when conventional treatments are ineffective.

The Oregon Health Authority has until the end of 2022 to craft regulators for how psilocybin would be manufactured and services provided. 

The agency has already adopted a number of rules for how psychedelic mushrooms will be cultivated and processed, from purity standards to pesticide use.

In anticipation of these regulations coming into effect, some cities and counties in the state have been considering bans ahead of the Nov. 8 General Election, so there would be no lapse in policy on Jan. 1, 2023, when the new rules are implemented.

Mill City and Lyons joined numerous rural communities in Oregon who have begun passing bans, including Linn County and Marion County, whose commissioners approved bans June 21 and Wednesday, respectively. Critics of psilocybin use, including Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist, argue the hallucinogenic effects may have dangerous impacts on young persons.

“My fear is of young people taking mushrooms and going out and doing things that may cost them their life,” Nyquist said before the county passed the ban, as reported by the Lebanon Express.

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