Decriminalizing Psychedelics in D.C., Explained

As many have noted, the real winner of this year’s election—which mostly thanks to a spineless Republican party, remains dogged by completely baseless accusations of voter fraud by President Trump—was drug decriminalization. A number of states voted to legalize cannabis, the state of Oregon voted to decriminalize all drugs, and in Washington D.C., plant-based psychedelics were decriminalized. Voters in The District went to the polls in November to vote overwhelmingly in favor of Initiative 81 or the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020 which decriminalizes psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”), ayahuasca, iboga and mescaline-containing cacti.

Getting Initiative 81 support was not an easy task and was primarily the work of Decriminalize Nature D.C., who seriously—and creatively—organized to gather enough signatures and raise awareness even amid the pandemic. The Outlaw Report has closely covered Initiative 81 and our coverage is gathered below so that readers can see Initiative 81’s complex and sometimes circuitous path over the past year.

“Coronavirus Threatens D.C.’s Success for Decriminalizing Psychedelics”: The Decriminalize Nature D.C. organization has asked the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to develop and sponsor emergency legislation to authorize the Board of Elections to provide for online collection of signatures, citing the coronavirus. The organization will need to collect more than 35,000 signatures from D.C. voters to get their initiative that hopes to decriminalize psychedelics to be successfully placed on the November ballot.

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