Measure decriminalizing psychedelics could be on DC’s November ballot

Voters in D.C. could have the opportunity to decriminalize psychedelic fungi and plants if a proposed measure is approved for the general election ballot in November.

Decriminalize Nature DC, the group behind the proposed Initiative 81, said it has collected more than 35,000 signatures in support of such a move. It takes 25,000 valid signatures for any measure to appear on a ballot.

The group submitted the signatures to the D.C. Board of Elections before Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. The board has 30 days to verify the signatures.

Officially titled the Entheogenic Plant and Fungi Policy Act of 2020, the proposal would make enforcement of laws against substances such as “magic” mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine and other entheogens among the lowest law enforcement priorities for D.C. police.

Supporters of Initiative 81 said psychedelic therapy that comes from fungi and plants can help those experiencing anxiety, depression and PTSD, among other conditions.

“Today is a milestone for D.C.,” said Melissa Lavasani, the chairwoman of Decriminalize Nature DC. “Voters in our nation’s capital have made clear that they are ready to end another piece of the war on drugs and to support their neighbors who, like me, have found relief in entheogenic plant and fungi medicines.”

If enough signatures are verified, D.C. would join Oregon in allowing voters decide to decriminalize psychedelics in the November general election.

In 2019, voters in Denver, Colorado, approved a city ordinance to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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