Constitutional Concerns Arise as Psilocybin Trainer Challenges Oregon Requirements
Shasta Winn, creator of the Myco-Method psilocybin training, files a formal complaint against the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). The complaint questions HECC's transparency, citing constitutional violations and regulatory ambiguities. Winn highlights concerns about substantive due process, equal protection, and religious rights, urging reconsideration and clarification from HECC.
SALEM, Ore., Dec. 6, 2023 Shasta Winn, the creator of the Myco-Method psilocybin facilitator training program, has officially filed a formal complaint against the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), bringing attention to constitutional violations and regulatory ambiguities in their decision-making process. Simultaneously, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is in the process of deliberating whether to amend existing regulations, making HECC licensure a requirement for OHA-approved psilocybin training programs.
Winn's complaint partially involves the lack of transparency around the HECC's reserve capital requirement for their application process. The lack of clarity on criteria used to determine adequacy not only denies vital information for addressing concerns but, according to Winn, raises serious questions about equal protection and substantive due process rights.
"This not only raises legal uncertainties for all licensed programs, but also infringes on the rights of spiritual, religious, and other nonprofit training programs, compelling them to identify unnecessarily with federally illegal commercial activity."
Winn contends that the ambiguous requirement of "adequate reserve capital" infringes upon substantive due process, as the absence of clear standards obstructs compliance. This ambiguity further raises concerns about the constitutionality of the regulation itself.
A key focus is the potential violation of equal protection rights, given the lack of clear criteria or benchmarks in HECC's decision-making process. This introduces an arbitrary element that may not treat similarly situated programs equally under the law.
The constitutional concerns also extend to religious rights. HECC's denial of all religious exemptions, coupled with demands for operational restructuring of religious organizations, infringes on First Amendment protections.
Moreover, the requirement for HECC licensure, framed as a "secular license for commercial activity", prompts questions about the potential federal consequences for training programs engaging in practicum activities involving psilocybin. This legal risk, minimal with just "curriculum approval" from the Oregon Health Authority, could be much higher with the HECC's "secular", "commercial", "private career school license".
Winn remarks, "The push to mandate HECC licensure for OHA-approved training programs potentially forces these programs into a federally questionable commercial education licensing process. This not only raises legal uncertainties for all licensed programs, but also infringes on the rights of spiritual, religious, and other nonprofit training programs, compelling them to identify unnecessarily with federally illegal commercial activity."
In light of these constitutional and legal challenges, Shasta Winn has called for reconsideration of the OHA's decision to amend the training program requirements, as well as for immediate clarification of criteria, provision of specific details on perceived inadequacies, and transparent communication from the HECC. The broader implications for constitutional and religious rights, as well as potential legal consequences, further underscore the urgency for a comprehensive review of the HECC licensure process.
Myco-Method stands at the intersection of education, spirituality, and holistic well-being. Myco-Method is an OHA-approved interfaith curriculum designed to explore the sacred and therapeutic traditions surrounding non-ordinary states of consciousness, particularly in the context of psilocybin practices.