Initiative 81 Secures Key Endorsements Ahead of November Election
DC Democratic Party, DC Council Candidates, and Doctors Among Supporters of DC’s Initiative 81 to Change Police Priorities for Plant Medicines
Washington DC – As voters begin casting ballots across DC, Initiative 81 has secured key endorsements from DC Council candidates, the DC Democratic Party, and a broad coalition of community leaders, including veterans and medical professionals. If passed, Initiative 81 would reform police priorities to ensure that DC residents benefiting from plant and fungi medicines, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, iboga, and mescaline-containing cacti, are not police targets. These natural medicines can help those suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction. Initiative 81 is the only initiative on the DC ballot in this election.
“These endorsements reflect the growing momentum for reforming police priorities for plant medicines that can help improve mental health and wellbeing,” said Initiative 81 Proposer Melissa Lavasani, a mother of two who lives in DC. “I urge DC residents to vote Yes on Initiative 81 because, as so many have already recognized, DC residents benefiting from plant medicines should not be police targets.”
The DC Democratic Party has publicly endorsed Initiative 81. The DC Statehood Green Party and the Libertarian Party of DC have also expressed public support for the measure.
At-Large DC Council candidates that support Initiative 81 include: Markus Batchelor, Joe Bishop-Henchman, Franklin Garcia, Marcus Goodwin, Christina Henderson, Ed Lazere, Jeanné Lewis, Will Merrifield, Vincent Orange, Keith Silver, and Ann C. Wilcox.
Ed Lazere shared in a post on his website that he will be voting YES for Initiative 81 and encouraged DC residents to join him in doing so. Randy Downs, candidate for Ward 2 Councilmember, released a statement detailing his own healing experience with plant medicines and public support for Initiative 81. Ward 4 candidate Perry Redd also supports Initiative 81 along with DC Shadow Senate candidate Eleanor Ory and DC Shadow Representative candidate Joyce Robsinon-Paul.
Organizations supporting Initiative 81 include the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the DC chapter of Sunrise Movement, and Our Revolution DC. In the medical community, Dr. Mikhail Kogan, Director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine has been a vocal supporter of Initiative 81 and the District Center for Integrative Medicine, led by Dr. Anjali Dsouza, and Dr. Leigh A. Frame, the Director of the GWU School of Medicine & Health Sciences, are also in favor of the measure.
Veterans groups in support include Veterans of War, Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, and the Heroic Hearts Project. Veterans of War is founded by former Marine Wyly Gray. VETS is founded and led by Navy Seal Marcus Capone. Heroic Hearts is founded and led by Jesse Gould, a former Army Ranger.