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Activists have collected more than 164,000 signatures from voters in Oregon to ensure that psilocybin therapy will be on the ballot this fall.
Next, the state will vote on Initiative Petition 34 (IP 34) in November a petition that would bring psilocybin therapy to Oregon “through a licensed, regulated system that supports and protects patients to get them the help they need” inside the Oregon Health Authority.
In this special video, watch Louie talk with Tom Eckert and Sherri Eckert, the founders of this landmark bill, after a 2019 screening of Fantastic Fungi.
To begin with, Fantastic Fungi film explored some of the ways medical mushrooms and psilocybin therapy can help in the medical field, and other research shows it can help individuals coping with depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Tom, a psychotherapist and one of the chief petitioners for IP 34, summed up why this ballot initiative matters right now:
“Even before COVID-19 hit, Oregon was dealing with sky-high rates of mental illness—which is why we started campaigning to advance this uniquely effective therapeutic option … stressors associated with the pandemic will undoubtedly push those rates even higher, which further highlights the importance of this initiative.”
Mycologist Paul Stamets sits on the board of this initiative, and sees the support of this ballot and its impact on medical mushrooms and psilocybin therapy as a crucial development:
“The Oregon initiative is so critically important. It’s time to create the structures within society for safely using psilocybin in a responsible manner for maximum benefit, as this is a uniquely powerful tool for healing,” said Stamets.
If you want to read more about the power of mushrooms and psilocybin therapy, you should explore the Fantastic Fungi, the Book!
Fantastic Fungi sold out 500 screenings in 2019, helping drive this momentum nationwide pushing for more psilocybin research. “Through this mycelium network, people showed up,” said Louie Schwartzberg.
In a special conversation with Isis Indriya for The Harmonic Convergence, he explained how that journey has kept him inspired:
“We hold conversations with local beekeepers, foragers, scientists, cooks, chefs, and psychonauts. We brought all these people together in a local community, along with local leaders as well, to hold a conversation in public to say: “Here we are, we’re part of a movement and we are unstoppable.”