Washington D.C. Votes In Favor of Psychedelics

Residents in Washington D.C. have voted to decriminalize psychedelic substances including psilocybin. The measure, Initiative 81, is also known as the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020.

As polls closed Tuesday evening, early results showed the initiative passing with about 75 percent of voters in favor of the measure.

D.C. now joins several cities Denver; Oakland, Calif.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; and Ann Arbor, Mich. in decriminalizing psychedelics. Oregon voters will decide this evening whether it will become the first state to decriminalize psychedelics. That measure is also expected to pass.

Initiative 81 was introduced by a city government employee, Melissa Lavasani. She claims microdosing psilocybin mushrooms helped her recover from postpartum depression. Her experience mirrors clinical results showing the benefit of psilocybin in treating depression.

But a win at the polls isn’t a guaranteed victory for the initiative. The next step is a review by D.C. city council. It will then go to Congress for review and Congress could object to the legislation. It did that in 2018 on a minimum wage measure, The Washington Post reported.

Lavasani is hopeful, though. “We have changed the game here. We have shifted this dialogue,” she said on Tuesday night. “We are trying to normalize mental health.”

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