Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more surreal in our nation’s Capitol Hill, residents in Washington D.C. could soon get a chance to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other organic psychedelics.
The initiative would affect all fungi and plants that naturally produce the chemicals ibogaine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline, psilocybin, or psilocin. That covers pretty much all your commonly used, organically occurring hallucinogens.
The proposal, called the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020, could be put on the general election ballot later this year, but first advocates will have to gather 25,000 signatures from district residents and the proposal will have to undergo a challenge period under the local Election Board.
As per its text, the proposal would “make investigation and arrest of adults for non-commercial planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, possessing or engaging in practices with, entheogenic plants and fungi among its lowest law enforcement priorities.”
Like many advocates of cannabis legalization, supporters of the act argue that psychedelics are an effective medical treatment which has been used safely by communities around the world.
“Practices with entheogenic plants and fungi have long existed, have been considered sacred to a number of cultures and religions for millennia and continue to be enhanced and improved,” the proposal’s website, Decriminalize Nature DC, reads.
“Citizens of the District of Columbia seeking to improve their health and well-being through the use of entheogenic plants and fungi currently use them in fear of arrest and prosecution.”
If the district does vote to pass the measure, DC would join the handful of other cities which have already decriminalized some psychedelics including Oakland and Santa Cruz in California and Denver, Colorado.
Photo via Flickr/R. Miller