Lawsuit Says Oregon’s Psilocybin Law Illegally Discriminates Against Homebound Patients Who Can’t Travel To Psychedelic Service Centers | Turn 420
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Lawsuit Says Oregon’s Psilocybin Law Illegally Discriminates Against Homebound Patients Who Can’t Travel To Psychedelic Service Centers

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A newly filed federal lawsuit against Oregon officials says the state’s first-in-the-nation psilocybin law discriminates against disabled individuals who can’t travel to designated service centers where the substance is administered, unfairly depriving them of potential benefits to health and well-being.

Under state law, “the provision of psilocybin services is explicitly restricted to licensed service centers under the supervision of a psilocybin service facilitator,” says the 11-page complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Oregon. “Because services may only be provided at licensed service centers, many disabled and terminally ill individuals—those who would benefit from access to psilocybin the most—are denied access to those services because their physical condition prevents them from travelling for treatment.”

Plaintiffs are four care providers—three licensed psilocybin facilitators and a physician specializing in advanced and terminal illnesses—who want to be able to offer psychedelic-assisted services but say they’ve been told by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) that there’s no way to accommodate homebound patients under the state’s psilocybin law.

“OHA asserted that, under the statutory framework created by the [psilocybin law], there is no legal pathway to make accommodations for psilocybin to be consumed outside of a licensed service center and that the statute would need to be amended for accommodations to be permitted,” the suit alleges.

“Defendant OHA’s refusal to allow accommodations has placed disabled and terminally ill individuals where they would only be able to access needed services by turning to underground sources,” it continues. “For many terminally ill individuals, this means that they will die without having access to psilocybin services that would have substantially benefited them and that their able-bodied peers can easily access under the PSA.”

The complaint asks the court to assume jurisdiction over the issue and require the health authority to “provide the reasonable accommodation of home service when necessary to allow disabled individuals access to psilocybin services, and to notify all licensed facilitators that such accommodations are permitted.”

It further asks that the court declare OHA violated state and federal anti-discrimination statues when refusing to find reasonable accommodations and prevent the state “from taking any disciplinary or other adverse action” against licensed facilitators for providing such reasonable accommodations.

“Public entities are required to make reasonable accommodations when necessary to allow disabled individuals to access programs and services unless doing so would result in an undue burden or a fundamental alteration of the program or service. Allowing disabled individuals whose disability prevents them from travelling to a licensed service center to receive psilocybin services in their homes as a reasonable accommodation would not result in an undue burden or a fundamental alteration of the psilocybin services program.”

Oregon voters legalized facilitated psilocybin services through a 2020 ballot measure. The state approved its first service center a little over a year ago.

Earlier this year, psilocybin service providers and entrepreneurs met for a conference in Portland, where they recalled a year of life-changing experiences for clients but also a litany of challenges, red tape and inconsistent interest in facilitated psilocybin use, which can cost individuals hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This spring the governor also signed a bill to roll back a state law that previously decriminalized small amounts of drugs for personal use.

Read the full complaint below: 



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