Washington, D.C. voters have overwhelmingly approved Initiative 81, decriminalizing psychedelic plants. The measure does not legalize psychedelic plants and fungi but re-categorizes them “as the lowest level police enforcement priority,” according to the initiative language.
It was approved 76 percent to 24 percent.
The District follows Denver, Colorado, Oakland and Santa Cruz, California, and Ann Arbor Michigan in decriminalizing some psychedelics.
Denver passed its initiative in May, while lawmakers in Oakland and Santa Cruz passed their resolutions in June and February, respectively. The Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council passed their measure in September.
None of those measures decriminalizing psychedelic plants include synthetics such as LSD or MDMA.
Oregon voters legalized medical psilocybin during last night’s General Election and passed another measure decriminalizing all drugs.
The D.C. initiative was introduced by Melissa Lavasani, a city government employee who microdosed with psilocybin to help her recover from postpartum depression.
“Everyone knows, in the campaign at least, that I was shooting for 70 percent. I got my hand slapped multiple times for that and I just want to say, ‘I told you so.’ … We have changed the game here. We have shifted this dialogue into something that people can feel, touch, see, and hear. We are trying to normalize mental health, we’re trying to normalize psychedelics, we’re trying to normalize connecting with your community. The psychedelics movement was born out of the West Coast but D.C. tonight has proven that we belong here and psychedelics has a major part in how we can heal as a community, how we can heal as a city, and how we can heal as a country.” – Lavasani, during a press conference following the vote, via Facebook
The D.C. campaign was led by Decriminalize Nature D.C. Financial backers included the New Approach PAC which has backed cannabis-related initiatives throughout the U.S. since its founding in 2014. The campaign raised a total of $796,943 – $641,378 of which was donated by New Approach, according to Ballotpedia which notes that there were no identified political action committees organized to oppose the reforms.