Washington, D.C. – Randy Downs, Candidate to represent Ward 2 on the DC Council released the following statement on Initiative 81.

“I finally found a place where I could live as my authentic self after moving to the District in 2011. My connection with my community grew, I met my partner Dylan, and then the unthinkable happened. In 2013, at just 27 years old, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and my life changed immediately.

Pictured: Randy Downs and his partner, Dylan.

While the expected prognosis was hopeful, I knew what was to come: countless hospital visits, numerous major surgeries, months of chemotherapy, and a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The physical and emotional pain I experienced during my battle with cancer was daunting.

In my search for an effective, non-addictive treatment to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy- pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and depression, I applied to become one of the District’s first card-carrying medical marijuana patients.

Medical marijuana helped me cope with the effects and treatment of cancer in a way that didn’t risk my health as some more dangerous drugs such as opioids could have. Many others go through similar painful experiences and rely on medical marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms and psychedelic plants like cacti, iboga, and ayahuasca to deal with pain, PTSD, depression, addiction, and other conditions.

For these reasons, I am endorsing Initiative 81 and encourage voters to vote YES on the ballot.”