Have you wanted to try mushrooms or plant medicines but have felt afraid due to the legalities? Well Initiative 81 was recently passed in Washington, D.C., allowing those in the district to use entheogenic plant and fungi medicines, without fear of being investigated, arrested, or jailed.
Plant medicines such a psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, iboga and mescaline-containing cacti are included in the protections of Initiative 81. Though congressional restrictions prohibit legalizing psychedelics, the initiative puts the policing of these substances among the lowest of law enforcement priorities.
The movement to allow for the legal use of psilocybin in the United States began in 2010, and Denver, Colorado became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin nine years later. Soon after, Oakland and Santa Cruz, California did the same. In 2020 two cities in Massachusetts also decriminalized the use of psilocybin. Oregon went one step further in November 2020, and not only decriminalized psilocybin, but also legalized it for medical use.
Melissa Lavasani, spokesperson for Decriminalize Nature D.C. who proposed Initiative 81 said She was suffering from postpartum depression and wanted help other than anti-depressants. “Within a few days, I had amazing results,” she said. “And you could see the progression from the beginning…and then towards the end, it was more like, I’m processing things now….I’m engaged with my children now.”
Proponents of legalizing psychedelics, including plant medicines, believe there are myriad healing opportunities offered by these entheogens.
As cities across the country continue to decriminalize entheogenic plants and other psychedelics, everyone can be supported by these medicines, for personal healing, expansion, and exploration without fear of reprisal or judgement.