DC Ballot Initiative to Change Police Priorities for Natural Psychedelics Passes

DC Ballot Initiative to Change Police Priorities for Natural Psychedelics Passes

Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020, Secured Enough Support from DC Voters to Pass 

Washington DC – Initiative 81 has secured enough votes from DC residents to pass. Initiative 81 – a ballot initiative proposed by Ward 6 resident and mother of two Melissa Lavasani – will, when implemented, reform police priorities to ensure that DC residents benefiting from plant and fungi medicines are not police targets. The entheogenic plants and fungi covered by Initiative 81, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, iboga, and mescaline-containing cacti, can help those suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction. Initiative 81 needed to secure a simple majority to pass. 

Despite the Covid19 pandemic and shutdown, Initiative 81 supporters safely collected more than 25,000 valid signatures from registered DC voters to place the measure on the November ballot. In the run up to the November 3rd election, Initiative 81 secured endorsements from a broad coalition of supporters including medical professionals, criminal justice reform groups, veterans, and organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the DC Democratic Party. 

“Initiative 81’s success was driven by grassroots support from DC voters. We are thrilled that DC residents voted to support common sense drug policy reforms that help end part of the war on drugs while ensuring that DC residents benefiting from plant and fungi medicines are not police targets,” said Initiative 81 Proposer and Decriminalize Nature DC Chairwoman Melissa Lavasani. “I would like to thank everyone who signed petitions, volunteered with our campaign and helped spread the word about plant medicines and Initiative 81. This campaign would not have been possible without your support.” 

Once the election results are certified by the DC Board of Elections, Initiative 81 will be enacted when it passes from the Board of Elections to the DC City Council. Then, Initiative 81 will be transmitted to Congress. Since DC is not a state and all laws enacted by voters or the City Council are subject to congressional approval, lawmakers in both the House or the Senate could object to the measure. Congress will have 30 legislative days to review the measure and, if there is no resolution of disapproval passed in both chambers, Initiative 81 will be implemented and published as law in the DC register. 

The above release was produced by the Decriminalise Nature DC campaign.