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Magic mushroom therapy to start soon in Oregon

Right now, Oregon is in a two-year development period in which a state advisory board is ironing out the rules and regulations for psilocybin therapy.

You might remember, Oregon voted to legalize so-called magic mushrooms in November of last year.

They were legalized not in the same way marijuana was. They were legalized not for recreational, but for therapeutic use. You'll only be able to use them with a licensed professional. You can't buy them at a store, take them home to use or grow them yourself.

Right now, Oregon is in a two-year development period in which a state advisory board is ironing out the rules and regulations for psilocybin therapy.

The therapy can be used to treat conditions like anxiety and depression without the use of prescription medications.

It's the very therapy that Chad Kuske underwent just shy of two years ago.

"It absolutely helped me," he said. "I've seen what it's done for me and upwards of a couple hundred other veterans with similar backgrounds as me. It actually works." 

Kuske served as a Navy Seal for more than 18 years. He did 12 deployments. Now, he's medically retired due to post-traumatic stress disorder. He said psilocybin changed his life.

"This opportunity has given me the chance to begin the healing process and with this increased awareness, having the ability to respond instead of react, makes all the difference."

In November, Oregon created the first-ever psilocybin therapy program in the country. Now, over the next two years, its rules and regulations will be developed by a governor-appointed advisory board.

The board's mission? To develop an effective and equitable system for people to get the therapy safely.

"Their primary focus at the moment is compiling and analyzing the volumes of research of psilocybin therapy from top medical institutions to give their decision-making process a foundation on science and moving forward over the next two years," said Sam Chapman, executive director of Healing Advocacy Fund.

The advisory board is in the research phase now. From here on out, it will be meeting about once a month. Subcommittees will meet more often. 

January 2023 is the deadline for the program to be up and running, so board members have got awhile to iron out the rules as more research about magic mushrooms emerges.

"A lot of the research that's coming from prestigious medical institutions from across the country and round the world is really showing that psilocybin therapy shows real promise for those suffering from different things such as depression and anxiety," said Chapman.

RELATED: Measure 109: Oregon becomes 1st state to legalize psilocybin for mental health therapy

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