WASHINGTON D.C. – The nation’s capitol, Washington D.C., is ready to roll out a voter-approved measure that has effectively decriminalized the use of so-called “magic mushrooms” and other psychedelic drugs, according to reports. Dubbed simply Initiative 81, the measure, approved by 76.59 of voters, does not make the use of the mind-altering substances legal; instead, it re-categorizes them as “the lowest level police enforcement priority.” In other words, cops are essentially encouraged to look the other way when people are “tripping out,” unless they have nothing better to do, that is.
Magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs are made from plants and fungus known as “entheogens.” In addition to lowering the law enforcement bar for possession and non-commercial cultivating, purchasing, and distributing of entheogens, Initiative 81 also directs the Washington D.C. attorney general and U.S. attorney in DC to no longer prosecute individuals who are accused of possessing or growing entheogenic plants and fungi.
In general, the effects of entheogenic substances include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, and spiritual experiences, and can also include possible adverse reactions such as nausea and panic attacks.
Voters in Oregon have passed a similar measure, legalizing psilocybin – a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of fungus – for medical use. Medical research has concluded that psilocybin use can be effective for treating depression, anxiety, and addiction problems.
D.C. isn’t the first city to allow people to get their minds into a different zone, so to speak; a measure to decriminalize psychedelics was first passed in Denver in May 2019, followed by Oakland and Santa Cruz in California soon afterwards.