FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Adam Eidinger June 12, 2020 Ph: 202-744-2671 Press@DecrimNatureDC.org
Decriminalize Nature DC Makes Final Push to Put Initiative 81 on November Ballot
With Pandemic Delays Campaign to Decriminalize Nature DC Needs 10,000 More Signatures Before July 6th to Put Ballot Measure Seeking to Shift MPD Priorities from Drug War
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Decriminalize Nature DC (DNDC) is making a final push to finish collecting at least 25,000 signatures before the July 6th deadline to put Initiative 81 on the November ballot. If passed, Initiative 81, the “Entheogenic Plants and Fungi Act of 2020,” would make plant and fungi medicines among the lowest law enforcement priorities in the District of Columbia. This would result in fewer police investigations and help ensure that DC residents using research-backed plant and fungi medicines would not be law enforcement targets.
Due to delays from the coronavirus pandemic and necessary health and safety measures, DNDC lost months of time to collect signatures but must still meet the July 6th deadline for the initiative to appear on the November ballot this fall.
Since receiving the petition in May, DNDC has pioneered innovative signature collection methods including a downloadable petition that can be returned via email and a first-of-its-kind large-scale “Democracy-by-Mail” effort to collect signatures using direct mail to voters. After mailing “Democracy-by-Mail” packets to every registered DC voter, Decriminalize Nature DC is in the final stretch of receiving signatures by mail and collecting signatures in the District of Columbia. If DNDC had more time to continue to receive signatures from business reply mail, the campaign would likely collect 25,000 signatures.
Despite these successes, DNDC still needs to collect about 10,000 signatures in the next week to submit to the DC Board of Elections by July 6th. To collect the remaining signatures, Decriminalize Nature DC is paying petition circulators $10 per valid signature and continues to hold new training to collect additional signatures from DC votes. To learn more about the training and to sign up visit www.decrimnaturedc.org/jobs
The success of Initiative 81 depends on DC voters signing the petition in support of giving DC voters the opportunity to vote on reforming outdated drug laws that punish people for using natural, plant and fungi medicines that are supported by a growing body of research.
Initiative 81 Proposer and Campaign Chairwoman Melissa Lavasani appealed to DC voters explaining: “Every signature counts! If you received a petition in the mail but haven’t returned it, we need you to email a picture of your signature today! If you didn’t receive a petition in the mail and are registered to vote in DC, you can download a printable petition at www.decrimnaturedc.org/sign and return it via email to email@example.com.” She added “This is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of DC residents and help change the conversation on the War on Drugs in our nation’s capital. This week, we need your help.”
For more information, to read Initiative 81 or to download the “Democracy by Mail” packet petition, please visit our website www.DecrimNatureDC.org .