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Most recent press releases:

March 11th, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Oregon’s 2020 Psilocybin Service Initiative Raises $79,370

The Oregon Psilocybin Society and the PSI 2020 ballot initiative campaign raised $79,370 in support of legalizing access to psilocybin assisted therapy in Oregon. The fundraising effort came in association with a benefit gala held on March 3rd at the Portland Art Museum. The sold-out event brought together leading scientists, grassroots policy reformers, and local leaders of an evolving coalition.

Said Tom Eckert, who, with his wife Sheri, serves as Chief Petitioner of the ballot initiative: “I think the Benefit was a significant step for this campaign, not just financially but also because it started a conversation between different aspects of the movement. We are excited to see how this unfolds.”

The fundraising effort came after the release of polling numbers that showed a slim majority of Oregonians favoring the proposed legislation.

The Benefit was keynoted by Robin Carhart-Harris, who is the Head of Psychedelic Research at the Imperial College of London, and Mark Haden, who is the Executive Director of Canada’s Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Said Chief Petitioner Sheri Eckert, “It was definitely a boost to have these great voices – who are now friends of ours and friends of the campaign – speak at a fundraising event for psychedelic policy reform in our home state. Oregon has become ground zero for what could be a worldwide psychedelic policy reform movement.”

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February 1st, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Oregon “Psilocybin Services” Ballot Measure Has Significant Support, Poll Shows

PORTLAND, Oregon – PSI 2020, a campaign committee in Oregon, has released scientific polling showing that Oregon voters are currently split on the Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon, a ballot initiative measure aiming to legalize access to psilocybin assisted therapy in 2020. The measure would also reduce penalties for the possession of psilocybin “magic” mushrooms. Participants in the survey, conducted by DHM Research, were given a clean look at the Certified Ballot Title (as it would appear on the ballot in 2020) and were then asked how they would vote if the election were held today. 47% voted in favor (“yes” or “leaning yes”). 46% were opposed (“no” or “leaning no”). 7% were undecided.

When the measure’s two primary elements were clarified, support was much higher. According to the poll, 64% of Oregon voters support lawful access to therapeutic psilocybin services. 55% support reducing existing criminal penalties for possessing psilocybin mushrooms.

“These early numbers show that the campaign is viable and the possibility of success is real,” says Tom Eckert, who, with his wife Sheri Eckert, co-founded the effort and serve as Chief Petitioners. “But we have our work cut out for us.”

Sheri Eckert adds, “Support rises significantly when people know what is actually in the measure, which means that educating the public is critical.”

According to the Eckerts, the campaign is focused on statewide signature canvassing (they need 112,200 valid signatures from Oregon voters by June of 2020) and educational outreach throughout 2019. “All of this takes money, so fundraising is key,” says Tom Eckert, noting that the Oregon Psilocybin Society – the educational arm of the campaign – is holding a benefit fundraiser at the Portland Art Museum on March 3rd. The Benefit includes dinner, special guests, and a keynote from Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at the Imperial College of London.

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September 10, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Oregon “Psilocybin Services” Campaign to Announce Launch of 2020 Ballot Initiative

The Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon (PSI 2020), a ballot initiative campaign aiming to legalize access to psilocybin assisted therapy, is now gathering petition signatures for the 2020 ballot.

Chief petitioners and Portland-area psychotherapists Tom and Sheri Eckert will make the official public announcement at “Envision Oregon,” a sold-out event celebrating the science of psilocybin at the Newmark Theatre in Portland on Thursday, September 20, 2018. The Eckerts will open the event with an address in support of the initiative, followed by a lecture from renowned mycologist, author and inventor Paul Stamets. The event is presented by PSI 2020 in conjunction with the Portland Psychedelic Society.

“We’re excited to gather signatures in support of establishing a community-based service framework, in which licensed providers, along with licensed producers of psilocybin mushrooms, can blaze new trails in Oregon in accordance with evolving practice standards” said Tom Eckert.

At the federal level, psilocybin is a Schedule I drug—meaning it has no accepted medical value or use—despite a growing body of scientific evidence showing safety and efficacy coming from research institutions like Johns Hopkins, New York University, the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center and the Imperial College of London.

“To be clear, there’s no scientific basis for psilocybin’s continued inclusion on Schedule I,” says Angela Bacca, a strategist for the campaign. “It is imperative we change the law to match the reality and science because people are suffering who could otherwise benefit from this safe and uniquely effective service.”

“Oregon has one of the worst rates of mental illness in the country,” says Sheri Eckert. “Depression and addictions not only take a terrible human toll, but also represent the two biggest drags on our state economy. Oregon can turn this around by taking the lead on psilocybin.”

The Envision Oregon event featuring Paul Stamets sold out in less than a week, but there is limited press availability. For media passes or inquiries please contact the Eckerts at (971) 275-2590. Visit www.psi-2020.org to learn more about the ballot initiative campaign.

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