Decriminalize Nature DC Rejects Interference in DC Voter Measure for Plant Medicines
Maryland Congressman Pledged to Derail DC Ballot Initiative 81 to Reform Police Priorities for Healing Plant and Fungi Medicines
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Decriminalize Nature DC (DNDC) submitted over 36,000 signatures to the DC Board of Elections in support of putting Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plant and Fungi Policy Act of 2020, on the November ballot. If enacted, this law will direct the Metropolitan Police Department to deprioritize enforcement of laws criminalizing plant and fungi medicines against the citizens of the District.
Today, DNDC learned that Maryland Congressman Andy Harris plans to derail Initiative 81 and undermine democracy in the District of Columbia. Initiative 81 Proposer Melissa Lavasani, the chairwoman of Decriminalize Nature DC, said, “Initiative 81 and the movement to reform outdated laws targeting people like me who have benefited from natural plant and fungi medicines is incredibly strong. Our campaign is about helping real people across the District of Columbia who benefit from entheogens in overcoming conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD.”
Lavasani added, “We remain focused on the petition certification process and educating DC voters on Initiative 81 and healing plant medicines ahead of the November election. We would also like to thank DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for advocating for our campaign and DC democracy.” Lavasani, a Ward 6 resident and mother of two, proposed Initiative 81 after entheogens helped her recover from postpartum depression.
The tremendous support that Initiative 81 has already received from DC voters clearly supports common-sense reforms to police priorities that would help ensure that DC residents using entheogens are not targeted by law enforcement. These residents include those suffering from conditions such as addiction, depression, trauma, anxiety, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and patients in end-of-life care. Leading medical researchers at Johns Hopkins, New York University, UCLA, the Imperial College in London and elsewhere have clinically demonstrated that the active principles in entheogens have significant healing benefits.
For more information, please visit our website www.DecrimNatureDC.org .