Americans were decisive when it came to legislation on psychedelics, even if there wasn’t a clear winner in the presidential election. In Washington D.C., Initiative 81 secured enough votes from residents to pass. Initiative 81 needed to secure a simple majority to pass. The ballot initiative was originally proposed by Ward 6 resident and mother of two Melissa Lavasaniand will, when implemented, reform police priorities to ensure that DC residents benefiting from plant and fungi medicines are not police targets.
“Initiative 81’s success was driven by grassroots support from DC voters. We are thrilled that DC residents voted to support common sense drug policy reforms that help end part of the war on drugs while ensuring that DC residents benefiting from plant and fungi medicines are not police targets,” said Initiative 81 Proposer and Decriminalize Nature DC Chairwoman Melissa Lavasani. “I would like to thank everyone who signed petitions, volunteered with our campaign and helped spread the word about plant medicines and Initiative 81. This campaign would not have been possible without your support.”
The plants and fungi covered by Initiative 81 include psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, iboga, and mescaline-containing cacti, which can help those suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction. Initiative 81 supporters collected more than 25,000 valid signatures from registered DC voters to place the measure on the November ballot.
Decriminalize Nature DC said in a statement, that once the election results are certified by the DC Board of Elections, Initiative 81 will be enacted when it passes from the Board of Elections to the DC City Council. “Then, Initiative 81 will be transmitted to Congress. Since DC is not a state and all laws enacted by voters or the City Council are subject to congressional approval, lawmakers in both the House or the Senate could object to the measure. Congress will have 30 legislative days to review the measure and, if there is no resolution of disapproval passed in both chambers, Initiative 81 will be implemented and published as law in the DC register.”
Oregon became the first state in the country to legalize psilocybin as voters in the state passed Measure 109. Oregon Live reported that Measure 109 was passing by 56.12% Tuesday at 8:50 p.m. with 1,832,513 votes counted. While D.C. decriminalized it, Oregon will be the first to permit supervised use statewide if that majority holds. The product will have to be stored and administered at licensed facilities.
The measure, backed by chief petitioners wife-and-husband Sheri and Thomas Eckert of Beaverton, will allow regulated use of psychedelic mushrooms in a therapeutic setting. Measure 110, which also passed, will decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs, including psychedelic mushrooms. Oregon Live also reported that Dr. Bronner’s, known for its all-in-one soap and hemp products, had made large donations to Oregon’s effort to legalize psilocybin.
“This election was a historic first step for Psilocybin. Oregon is the first state in the U.S. to allow Psilocybin for therapeutic purposes and will be leading the way for research initiatives across the country,” said Del Jolly, co-founder, and director of Unlimited Sciences. “We expect to see many more initiatives like these, so we can expand our outreach into the community and find the answers that so many are looking for to better their lives.”
“Psilocybin and other psychedelics have been a part of therapeutic experiences for thousands of years, in a widespread natural history experiment. Legalization and decriminalization in Oregon and Washington D.C. will now allow us to do what we think is so vital and that is collect data in the naturalistic setting. Like we have seen many times in our history, the people are pushing for their basic human right to heal through their voice- their vote,” said Heather Jackson, Board President of Unlimited Sciences.