What Do Oregon’s Laws Really Say About Psychedelic Drugs?

Oregon is the first US state to decriminalize the possession and “sharing” of natural psychedelic substances.

By Phil Dubley Fact-Checked By Tripsitter Legal Team · Last Updated: January 11, 2024
Last Updated: January 11, 2024

Oregon is the first state to decriminalize natural psychedelics (including magic mushrooms).

Starting in January 2023, Oregan now allows the regulated production, processing, delivery, and possession of psilocybin and other naturally-occurring psychedelic compounds.

However, on November 8, 2022, Oregon allowed local jurisdictions to opt out of the psilocybin program. Many rural communities voted to leave the program, while all major cities remained on board. There’s also some controversy over the way the state hopes to regulate psilocybin practitioners.

Here, we’ll explore how Oregon law regulates the use of different classes of psychedelics, including LSD, magic mushrooms, MDMA, ketamine, and more.

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Oregon?

In 2020, Oregon became the first state in the United States to legalize psilocybin for supervised adult use.

The Psilocybin Program Initiative, also known as Measure 109, recognizes psilocybin as therapeutic, but does not establish a true medical model — it’s more in the lines of harm reduction.

No diagnosis or treatment is necessary to partake. To take magic mushrooms legally in Oregon one has to take them at a licensed Service Center, and the journey will be in the company of a licensed Psilocybin Facilitator. 

In the same year, Measure 110 decriminalized the possession of psilocybin and other drugs for personal use.

If you are caught with magic mushrooms instead of being arrested, you will receive a citation, leading to a fine of $100.

Measure 109 went into effect officially on January 1st of 2023, meaning anyone over the age of 21 can now legally consume mushrooms at state-approved facilities. Time will tell how smoothly this goes as it’s already hit its fair share of hiccups getting to this point.

Related: Where are magic mushrooms legal?

Do Magic Mushrooms Grow Wild in Oregon?

Magic mushrooms grow naturally all over the world. In Oregon, you can find over 20 species of magic mushrooms. They’re most abundant in farmland or temperate forests near the coast.

What Are the Medicinal Uses of Shrooms?

There’s a strong trend in Europe and North America toward legalizing psilocybin for medical use. This is because research on psilocybin has expanded, and there is increasing evidence favoring its therapeutic use.

For example, microdoses of psilocybin have been shown to help control cluster headache attacks.

Other studies conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have found evident, antidepressant qualities in magic mushrooms.

Further research suggests psilocybin can boost problem-solving skills and creativity, and it may be effective for treating existential anxiety in terminally-ill patients, addiction and substance abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.

Is LSD Legal in Oregon?

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is illegal almost everywhere. However, in Oregon, personal use of the substance is decriminalized.

If caught in possession of LSD, users are forced to pay a $100 fine and/or undergo addiction counseling.

However, if you distribute or manufacture the substance, you can still face up to 20 years in prison.

Is MDMA Legal in Oregon?

MDMA (ecstasy) is a prevalent substance among younger users. Like LSD and psilocybin, personal use of the substance is decriminalized in Oregon.

Possessing up to 4 grams of MDMA is a misdemeanor in the county. Its penalties are similar to those for the substances above, only including small fines.

Is Ketamine Legal in Oregon?

Yes. Ketamine is legal in Oregon, but only for medical use.

However, people also use it recreationally because of its dissociative effects. Possessing ketamine in small amounts without authorization is a misdemeanor in Oregon, and it can lead to a $100 fine or a full health evaluation.

What’s the Difference Between Legalization & Decriminalization

Legalization and decriminalization are often confused — they’re not the same thing.

Decriminalization involves a reduction of penalties for certain compounds or activities. It doesn’t mean it’s legal; it just means you’re no longer committing a felony offense for being in possession of a decriminalized substance.

Legalization involves removing all penalties for using a substance. There can still be restrictions imposed on legalized substances. For example, when various states legalize cannabis, there are still regulations on the age of customers and the quantities of product a customer is allowed to possess and purchase.

Key Takeaways: What’s the Future of Psychedelics in Oregon?

Oregon is a pioneer state regarding drug laws. This was the first state to decriminalize the use of natural psychedelics. They were also one of the first states in the US to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

We can’t help to be optimistic about the future of psychedelics in Oregon but don’t see regulators legalizing psychedelics for retail sale anytime soon. While it’s nice that people can legally take magic mushrooms at approved facilities, the cost-prohibitive nature brings its own fair share of concerns.

For now, decriminalization will have to do.