We Need a Cole Memorandum for Magic Mushrooms

7 Pages Posted: 6 May 2021

See all articles by Robert A. Mikos

Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: May 4, 2021


In fall 2020, as the nation elected Joe Biden to be our Forty-Sixth President, Oregon voters also passed a noteworthy new drug law reform. Known as Measure 109, Oregon’s path-breaking law legalizes the use of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance found in magic mushrooms. Measure 109 is designed to unlock the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, which advocates tout as an effective and safe treatment for depression and other psychological conditions. President Biden has yet to disclose how his Administration will respond to Measure 109. But as we mark the 100th day of the Biden Presidency, let me offer the Administration some friendly advice: decline to prosecute anyone that participates in Oregon’s nascent psilocybin program, as long as Oregon keeps the program under tight control. To make the case for tolerating Measure 109, I draw upon lessons learned from the federal government’s response to state marijuana reforms over the past twenty-five years. That experience demonstrates that attempting to quash state drug reforms is unlikely to succeed and might even prove counterproductive and that tolerating such reforms better serves the interests of the federal government.

Keywords: marijuana, cannabis, marihuana, psilocybin, psychedelics, magic mushrooms, Oregon, measure 109, Cole Memorandum, drug, controlled substance, Garland, Biden, federalism

Suggested Citation

Mikos, Robert A., We Need a Cole Memorandum for Magic Mushrooms (May 4, 2021). 2021 U. ILL. L. REV. ONLINE: BIDEN 100 DAYS 87 (Apr. 30, 2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3839551

Robert A. Mikos (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7184 (Phone)
615-322-6631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/faculty-detail/index.aspx?faculty_id=227

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics