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Health | 04.28.2022

Oregon Lawmakers Seek To Make The Psilocybin Therapy Program More Equitable

If the bill passes, it will enlist a task force to ensure low-income and BIPOC communities have proper access to the psilocybin therapy program.

The Oregon government never fails to wow us with such progressive moves towards the future of modern medicine. And if you’ve been reading anything from us over the past few months, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the topic of Oregon’s therapeutic psilocybin program. 

While the program has been rolling out swiftly since approval by voters in 2020, there were a few social hiccups that lawmakers found weren’t leaning in favor of low-income of BIPOC communities. This resulted in an Oregon Senate committee adding some changes to the program by making it more equity-oriented. 

The new measure to create a more equitable psilocybin therapy program came from Sen. Lawrence Spece (D) and Rep. Wlnsvey Campos (D). According to Marijuana Moment, the new measure would enlist 15 members to create a “Task Force on Psilocybin Health Equity.”

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Additionally, the task force would comprise different members like lawmakers, psilocybin reform regulators, those familiar with psilocybin treatment, indigenous community representatives, and more.

The measure was approved about a week ago by the Senate Human Services Mental Health and Recovery Committee, and if passed in the coming hearings, it should begin rolling out in the following months. 

As per Marijuana Moment, the task force’s sole mission is to create equity and accessibility in the state’s blossoming psilocybin therapeutic program. This starts by examining the obstacles people of color have to go through in terms of starting a psilocybin-related business, training those to work in related facilities, and having access to psilocybin therapy for low-income individuals and minority communities. 

Another top priority on the task force is to examine research related to psilocybin that touches on how effective this kind of treatment is and how programs could expand the accessibility of these services. But, the main goal is to offer resources to communities that don’t have proper access to health care, “increase the number of culturally specific practices and people who are low-income who hold licenses,” reads the bill

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Just before the second hearing of the bill, the co-creator Campos wrote in a statement that “Oregon needs to push for equity-focused provisions that will support some of the most vulnerable communities, including low-income and BIPOC individuals.”

Furthermore, it would be unjust if Oregon continues the cycle of “shutting out the future of medicine to certain communities,” adding that the government has a “rare opportunity” to keep these inequities far from the psilocybin program. 

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