Criminal Justice

Oregon voters legalize psychedelic mushrooms, decriminalize drugs; 4 other states OK recreational marijuana

  • Print

marijuana leaf and gavel

Image from

Voters in several states loosened drug laws Tuesday, going so far in Oregon as to legalize psychedelic mushrooms and to decriminalize small amounts of heroin and other drugs.

The vote on psilocybin, known as magic mushrooms, allows supervised use of the drug in licensed therapeutic settings for those who are 21 or older, report the Oregonian and the New York Times.

Supporters say the drug can be used to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. Oregon is the first state to legalize the drug.

Oregon is also the first state to legalize small amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD and other street drugs, according to the New York Times and the Oregonian. Possession of small amounts of the drugs is a noncriminal violation similar to a traffic offense.

Those caught with small amounts of the drugs receive a ticket and face a $100 fine, or they may agree to screening for a substance abuse disorder. The penalty for those caught with larger amounts is reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. Some commercial drug offenses could still be felonies.

The ballot measure also directs more money from marijuana tax revenue to drug treatment and other addiction programs.

Meanwhile, voters approved recreational marijuana in New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona, according to the New York Times and Axios. They join 11 states and Washington, D.C., in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota also approved medical marijuana, according to Politico. The New York Times counts three dozen states as now permitting marijuana for medical use.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.