Marion County residents to vote on banning psilocybin facilities in November

Marion County residents will vote in November on whether to ban psilocybin manufacturing and service centers in unincorporated areas of the county.

The Marion County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt an ordinance that would refer to voters a measure banning the facilities.

The measure will go before Marion County voters in the Nov. 8 general election. 

The ban would only impact residents outside city limits of Salem or any other city in the county.

Oregonians in 2020 voted for Measure 109, which legalized psilocybin manufacturing and service centers. Rules for those facilities and specifics of how services will be provided are still being determined through the state’s rulemaking process, but county governments in Oregon can adopt an ordinance prohibiting their operations in unincorporated areas. 

Commissioner Colm Willis said he supported the ordinance because Marion County voters didn’t vote to approve Measure 109 in the November 2020 election.

Election results show 78,389 or 49.42% of Marion County voters saying yes to Measure 109 and 80,216, or 50.58% opposed.

“The voters of Marion County opposed this when it was on the ballot, so we’re just allowing them to have their voice heard,” Willis said at the meeting Wednesday.

The Keizer City Council referred a similar measure banning psilocybin facilities to voters in July.

Indigenous people in the Americas for thousands of years have used psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called “magic mushrooms,” and clinical trials in the U.S. have more recently shown the drug is effective in reducing depression and anxiety.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.