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Sheri Eckert, Measure 109 sponsor, psychedelic leader and psilocybin therapist, dies at 56.

PCOURTESY HOTO: SAM CHAMPAN/YES ON 109 - Psilocybin therapists Sheri and Tom Eckert watch election results come in on Nov. 3, 2020, the night Measure 109 passed leagalizing a two-year period to test the therapeutic use of magic mushrooms. Sheri Eckert died in her sleep on Dec. 17.Portland's psychedelic community was in shock over the weekend with the news that Sheri Eckert died.

Eckert, 56, was one of the two people behind Oregon's magic mushrooms measure — Measure 109 — which voters approved on Nov. 3. She died in her sleep unexpectedly on Thursday Dec. 17. Eckert and her husband Tom were the driving force and sponsors of Measure 109, which opens a two-year trial to legalize psilocybin, the psychoactive component found in certain mushrooms, for use in therapy for depression, PTSD and addiction.

Other cities have decriminalized psilocybin, but Oregon is first to permit its supervised use statewide. The drug can only be used with therapeutic supervision. Patients take a dose of psilocybin in a clinic and are guided through their journey of several hours by a therapist, of which the Eckerts were both leading lights.

In a message on Facebook on Saturday, Tom Eckert wrote of his shock, grief and also hope.

"Dear Friends, On Thursday, 12/17/2020, my beautiful wife, Sheri Eckert, passed away. She died in her sleep, apparently succumbing to cardiac arrest. She was a lifelong heart patient, but her passing was a terrible and unexpected shock.

"I know that Sheri was deeply loved by many who are reading this — including those who did not know her personally — and I am so, so sorry to convey this tragic news. I know that it is almost unbearable to hear.

"Though she would never admit it, Sheri was a hero. She dedicated her life to spreading a healing message, which she did with amazing clarity. She told us that we are all children of the Cosmos, each an essence of love and light."

Tom Eckert indicated that their project will continue.

"I learned so much from my beautiful bride and I am so utterly shattered. But through the pain and tears I hear her voice — words she imparted to so many hurting souls and in so many poignant ways — 'Dear Human, I know you are broken, but your pieces make up a collage that you can hardly imagine, for you are divine.'

"To me, Sheri was a miracle. I will miss her immeasurably, and will strive, however imperfectly, to recognize the message she shared with me and with the world. There is no better way to honor her legacy or, in my mind, to ground one's life."

Mourners were asked to direct gifts to the Oregon Psilocybin Society, which he called "the charity that Sheri and I co-founded, to help us carry her legacy onward and begin the work that she made possible: that of bringing psilocybin assisted therapy, and the direct experience of the divine, to those in need of deep healing."


Joseph Gallivan
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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