Success of psychedelic ballot measures in U.S. brings hope for drug reform in Canada

Voters in Oregon and the District of Columbia supported initiatives around psychedelic substances

Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to legalize therapy using psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Leo Malsam/Getty Images


A drug reform advocate in Canada feels encouraged with the success of psychedelic ballot measures in the U.S.

Trevor Millar believes that victories in Oregon and the District of Columbia could influence Canadian policymakers.

“It brings me hope to see such influential ballot measures pass in the United States,” Millar said in a media statement.

For example, voters in Oregon passed Measure 109, which legalizes the use of psilocybin in therapy. To clarify, psilocybin constitutes an active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms.

With the passage of the measure, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to legalize psilocybin therapy.

In addition, voters in the District of Columbia, home of the U.S. capital, supported Initiative 81, which decriminalized a range of psychedelic substances. These include ibogaine, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, psilocybin, and psilocyn.

The measures passed as part of the November 3, 2020 election.

Further, this means that police will treat these substances as low-level priority for law enforcement.

Drug reform pushed in Canada

Millar counts as one of the founding members of Canadian Psychedelics Association.

In addition, the advocate chairs the board of the Canada branch of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Millar helped initiate a petition in the House of Commons to decriminalize psychedelic plants in the country.

In the media release, the advocate recalled that Paul Manly, Green MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith in B.C., presented the petition to parliament.

Additionally, Millar expects the federal government to present a response.

He noted that Canada has “always been a progressive nation when it comes to healthcare”.

Because of this, Millar hopes that the ballot successes in the U.S. will “compel” Canadian legislators to act on psychedelics.

Furthermore, Millar wants policy makers to “make these valuable plants and fungi available to all Canadians”.

Psychedelic ban remains enforced

Canada prohibits many psychedelic substances, including psilocybin.

In August 2020, the federal government of Canada allowed four terminally ill patients to consume psilocybin.

Health Minister Patty Hadju granted the patients exemption under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Millar recalled that a number of physicians have also applied for an exemption. According to Millar, the doctors want to better understand the implications of psilocybin treatment.

The November 3 election in the U.S. also saw victories for cannabis.

For example, voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota legalized cannabis for recreational use. Additionally, South Dakota and Mississippi legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter @carlitopablo

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published.