Oregon Officials Outline How Legal Psilocybin and Decriminalized Cannabis Would Affect the State

August 12, 2020 09:57:15

Taking advantage of a rarely used provision in the laws of Oregon, lawmakers asked the state to provide several analyses showing how the legalization of psilocybin therapy and the decriminalization of marijuana would affect the state.

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission revealed that the decriminalization initiative would result in the reduction of misdemeanor and felony convictions in the state by 91%. This reduction, the officials say, would be substantial in all racial groups. For example, the reduction would be 94% for blacks and Native Americans living in the state, while misdemeanor and felony convictions would reduce by about 82.9% in the Oregon Asian community.

In general, the Criminal Justice Commission believes that the racial disparities in the arrests for marijuana possession would go down by 95%.

The latest analysis is an improvement to a previous report released last month. This recent version includes language stating that racial disparities exist in the various stages of the criminal justice process, such as pretrial detention, bail, police stops and the way prosecutorial decisions are made. The commission admitted that they didn’t have specific data on the disparities during those different stages of the process. However, the admission that those disparities existed was a win for reform advocates who had insisted that the analysis needed to mention those disparities as well.

The Financial Estimate Committee wrote that the medicinal psilocybin legalization measure would require the state to spend approximately $5.4 million from its general fund. This money would be needed to cover the first two years of the program, referred to as the development period. Thereafter, $3.1 million would be required each year. The committee observes that this money will be raised by taxing and imposing fees on the new industry.

Only licensed facilities would be allowed to sell and administer the therapeutic psilocybin, and this administration will be done by licensed professionals. Only adults aged at least 21 would be eligible for this therapeutic use of psilocybin.

Sam Chapman, the leader of the campaign to put psilocybin legalization on the state ballot said that he was happy that the state officials had written an explanatory statement that properly captured their intentions when designing the ballot initiative.

He specifically pointed out the regulations and safeguards of the initiative highlighted in the explanatory statement. This inclusion would help to show voters that a lot of thought went into coming up with the measure and that no loopholes were left to permit people to misuse psychedelics. All in all, analysts say that sector players like Pure Extracts Corp. will be happy that the people of Oregon will have sufficient information upon which to decide which way their vote will go on this issue.

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