Washington, DC, has simply decriminalized psychedelic crops. Here is what occurs subsequent


Residents of the country’s capital have just taken a step towards a more liberal use of hallucinogens in response to growing interest in new drugs for medical diseases.

Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plants and Mushrooms Act of 2020, makes certain psychedelic drug crimes the “lowest enforcement priority” for the district’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Here’s what happens next.


What are psychedelics?


“Initiative 81 does not change the legal status of entheogens or existing penalties,” says the campaign to decriminalize Nature DC.

This is a change in policy, not the law. Entheogenic plants and mushrooms, including psychedelic mushrooms, remain illegal. Initiative 81 simply makes enforcing laws criminalizing their property the lowest priority for DC police.

So don’t sell mushrooms on the corner.

Which plants and mushrooms have the lowest priority?

Plants that contain:


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How exactly will that work?

In theory, Initiative 81’s new policy means that if someone jaywalks before bothering you because you grew or have mushrooms or are on psilocybin therapy, the cop must take care of them.

“The Metropolitan Police Department conducts the investigation and arrest of persons 18 years and older who have noncommercial planted, cultivated, purchased, transported, distributed, practiced and / or possessed entheogenic plants and mushrooms are the lowest priorities of the Police Department of the City Police,” states in Initiative 81.

Will the current prosecution end?

Possibly. The measure could mean that related cases will be stopped. That will likely be left to the local prosecutors.


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Will Congress get involved?

Quite possible.

The district remains under the jurisdiction of Congress. In theory, the law could go into effect after a 30-day review by Congress. However, Congress blocked the implementation of medical cannabis in DC for years. And the passage of adult legalization of cannabis by the district has been hindered by members of Congress for years. Because of this, there are still no legal, licensed cannabis stores in DC

Why did this change come about?

Despite its stigma, more and more people are finding positive medical relief through the use of entheogens. Groups in 100 cities advocate relief from chronic, hard-to-treat mental health problems such as PTSD and depression.

The decade-old movement fueled by MAPS and other groups has gained momentum with the legalization of cannabis.

Recreational users also confirm: the chemicals can change the way the brain works and open the mind to new, healing ways of looking at a problem. Or the opposite – a bad trip. It really depends on intent and other factors.

Still, these drugs remain locally classified as Schedule 1 – the most dangerous in the DC code (48–902.04.3H).

David Downs

David Downs directs news and lifestyle coverage as chief of the California Bureau for Leafly.com. He has written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard and is the former cannabis editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and author of several cannabis books including ‘Marijuana Harvest’ by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He is the co-host of the Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

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Beth Edmonds