Washington, D.C. activists searching for to place a proposal to decriminalize magic mushrooms earlier than voters submitted petitions on Monday that signify that they’ve sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the November poll. Organizers with Decriminalize Nature D.C. submitted greater than 35,000 signatures in assist of Initiative 81, which might make the enforcement of legal guidelines prohibiting psilocybin mushrooms and different psychedelic vegetation and fungi the bottom precedence for police within the nation’s capital. 

“Today is a milestone for DC,” mentioned Melissa Lavasani, the chairwoman of Decriminalize Nature D.C., in a press launch. “Voters in our nation’s capital have made clear that they are ready to end another piece of the war on drugs and to support their neighbors who, like me, have found relief in entheogenic plant and fungi medicines,” referring to her use of psilocybin mushrooms to deal with postpartum despair.

In all, the marketing campaign collected about 10,000 extra signatures than required to qualify the initiative for the poll. A minimal threshold of no less than 5% of registered voters from no less than 5 of the district’s eight wards was additionally met, based on marketing campaign leaders.

“I’ve always felt that so positive about this campaign,” Lavasani said. “And I knew we could do it. It was just a matter of how we were going to do it.”

Coping With COVID-19

Collecting the required variety of signatures within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic made the method problematic. But by mailing out data and petitions to greater than 200,000 households, the marketing campaign was in a position to garner roughly 10,000 of the signatures wanted. A closing push at in-person signature gathering in current weeks as restrictions put in place due to the outbreak had been relaxed added much more.

“It was sometimes good, sometimes not,” Lavasani mentioned. “I think that people sometimes are protective since we’re all home and we are in a pandemic, and maybe their home is their safe space and when a stranger suddenly enters your yard or [gets] close to your door it’s a little scary. But that just varied depending on where we were in the city.”

“But our ground game was good,” she added. “We would approach people from six feet away and we would put the clipboard down on a surface. We weren’t ever touching anything at the same time as anyone. We were carrying tons of hand sanitizer with us, tons of pens so we could have extras to sanitize.”

Now that the petitions for Initiative 81 have been submitted, the D.C. Board of Elections has 30 days to confirm the entire signatures. If sufficient legitimate signatures have been collected from registered voters, the measure will seem on the November poll. 

Polling performed by the marketing campaign in April indicated that 51% of respondents would probably vote for Initiative 81, 27% would vote towards the measure, and 22% remained undecided. But after extra detailed details about the initiative was given to respondents, the probably sure vote elevated to 60%.

If voters approve the initiative, Washington, D.C. will be a part of a development begun in Denver and Oakland, the place psilocybin mushrooms have already been decriminalized.

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