Initiative 81 Certified for November Ballot
Voters To Decide Historic Initiative After DC Board of Elections Announces that the Campaign to Decriminalize Nature DC Submitted Enough Signatures
WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia Board of Elections announced today that Initiative 81, the “Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020,” is certified to appear on the November ballot. This clears the way for DC voters to decide if plant and fungi medicines, including psilocybin-containing mushrooms, ayahuasca, and mescaline-containing cacti, should be designated as among the lowest law enforcement priorities for the Metropolitan Police Department. If passed, Initiative 81 would amount to de facto decriminalization of entheogenic plant and fungi medicines and would make DC the first jurisdiction on the East Coast to enact such reforms.
Melissa Lavasani, a mother of two and a resident of Capitol Hill, proposed Initiative 81 after using psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca to treat postpartum depression. Lavasani said, “The confirmation that Initiative 81 will appear on the November ballot in our nation’s capital is a huge step forward for the Decriminalize Nature movement. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our campaign saw strong support from DC voters for Initiative 81 from all eight wards. Every District voter who signed the petition to put the initiative on the ballot helped give DC residents this historic opportunity to change outdated laws that criminalize people who use natural substances to overcome anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other conditions.”
She added, “We are excited to continue educating voters ahead of the election. Our polling shows that a majority of DC voters support Initiative 81, and that support increases with more information. Although the pandemic is an added challenge, I am confident that Initiative 81 will pass on November 3 and that DC will take this important step towards ending another part of the destructive and wasteful war on drugs.”
Initiative 81 would help thousands of DC residents suffering from anxiety, PTSD, addiction, and depression who currently fear arrest or prosecution for using natural psychedelics to heal. This initiative has the support of prominent medical professionals, police officers, and residents across the District of Columbia.
The DC Board of Elections’ announcement comes after the 30-day certification process to validate the more than 36,000 signatures submitted by the Campaign to Decriminalize Nature DC in July.
For more information about Initiative 81, please visit our website www.DecrimNatureDC.org .