Will Coronavirus Derail D.C.’s Drive to Decriminalize Shrooms?

Concerns over the continuing global outbreak of coronavirus have led activists seeking to decriminalize magic mushrooms in Washington, D.C. to ask for permission to circulate their initiative petition online. Officials with the city’s Board of Elections decided last month that the proposal from the group Decriminalize Nature Washington, D.C. could be placed on the ballot in November if enough signatures are gathered.

Under the initiative, the District of Columbia 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,” according to the text of the measure. The initiative, known as the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act, would include all plants and fungi that naturally produce the chemicals ibogaine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline, psilocybin, or psilocin.


In a letter sent to Mayor Muriel Bowser and members of the city council by Decriminalize Nature on Tuesday, advocates for the initiative said that petition circulators would have to come in contact with approximately 250,000 individuals in order to collect the necessary signatures and argued that fears over the virus will hamper democracy. To date, there have been at least 95,000

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