Voters in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties will all vote on psilocybin ordinances in the November election.
In Deschutes County, commissioners cannot agree whether the ordinance is a ban or not.
Commissioner Anthony DeBone says it is a land use ordinance.
“If local jurisdiction wants to bring it back to a vote of the people, you can do it in the next general election, which is what we’ve chosen to do. But it’s only the discussion about the land use,” said DeBone.
Commissioner Phil Chang sees it differently.
“The way that the ordinance is written, it would exclude opportunities for that land use in unincorporated parts of the county,” said Chang.
DeBone is concerned about a large psilocybin facility taking up resources in a rural area.
“If it’s a rural retreat center, that’s a huge discussion,” said DeBone.
Chang does not think a psilocybin service center would take up a lot of space or resources.
“One 1,900-square-foot building is going to meet almost the entire psilocybin service demand for our whole population in Deschutes County. Is that a major land use concern?” asked Chang.
Crook and Jefferson counties will also put psilocybin up for a vote, but these will be actual bans, according to Crook County Judge Seth Crawford and Jefferson County Commissioner Kelly Simmelink.
“We do appreciate the ability to have the local people decide on these things. I know that a lot of my citizens don’t agree with what the state of Oregon does a lot of times, so it is nice that they get to weigh in,” said Crawford.
“Back when this passed at the state level, in Jefferson County it was defeated 60 to 40,” said Simmelink.
Measure 109, the state-wide legalization of psilocybin services voted on in 2020, passed in Deschutes County, but did not pass in Jefferson or Crook.
Jefferson County will hold public hearings July 27 and August 10 to learn more about psilocybin and hear testimony. Simmelink says all Jefferson County residents are encouraged to speak.